Makeup Companies are Fighting Gender Stereotypes

Maybe he’s born with it: Maybelline, a drugstore beauty brand, has begun featuring men in their advertisements to showcase their products.

Manny Guiterrez, a blogger and social media celebrity, was featured on Maybelline’s Instagram wearing Dream Velvet Foundation and Maybelline lipstick.

People in the beauty industry all over the world are chiming in on this issue of makeup for all genders. Jake Jamie, a makeup artist in the U.K., said to Style.Mic, “Somehow our society decided that only women should wear makeup.”

Jamie added, “We often hear phrases like ‘manning up,’ ‘getting on with it,’ and being ‘strong and silent,’ and this has left men little space to reposition or redefine themselves in society.”

Wanting to look one’s best isn’t dependent on gender, of course. According to one survey, about three-fourths of people believe that something as little as having an unattractive smile could harm their chances for having a successful career.

Many believe that this new wave of ads featuring men in makeup is challenging gender stereotypes.

Arieh Simon, a makeup blogger with more than 35,000 followers on Instagram, commented, “For some odd reason, our society has taught us to assume traits of a whole gender… A large part of men in makeup isn’t just about enjoying putting it on, it’s about destroying stereotypes.

Psychology of Women Quarterly came out with a new study that shows gender stereotypes are as strong today as they were 30 years ago.

There are two reasons people perceive these strong differences between men and women, said researchers Elizabeth Haines, Nicole Lofaro, and Kay Deaux. The research team told PHYS.org, “First unconscious bias may distort the way in which people perceive and thus remember gender atypical behavior as more stereotypical that it actually was. Second, the genders may curtail cross gender behavior for fear that they may incur backlash that is typically directed at atypical men and women.”

Many makeup brands are now using more diverse advertising campaigns featuring male beauty models. Maybelline, Stila, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Benefit, Nyx, and Tarte all promoted their products using male beauty bloggers.

David Klasfeld, CEO and creative director of OCC, explained the move: “We thought that by speaking directly to groups that tend to get very little recognition by the industry, it would set a standard for anyone who’s felt like beauty campaigns weren’t speaking to their needs.”

“I admire companies who support all artists regardless of age, sex, gender, race or ethnicity,” said Florida makeup artist Miguel Ghalichi. “There is something so beautiful about a man who doesn’t follow the common standards that society has constructed.”

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