Saturday, March 22, 2008

Boys jump on the beauty bandwagon  

Andrea Bartz has written an interesting opinion piece, providing insight into the subject of men wearing makeup. She makes some great points, concluding:

And if feminism is really about equality, we can't hold certain lifestyle choices sacred to only our gender. Remember when men got all up in arms about women trading skirts for pants? Wearing makeup is a choice, sort of like working full-time or carrying a purse or watching pro-wrestling.

Exactly right. Feminism is about equality - and why shouldn't that extend to males? I think men have every right to wear makeup. Why should it be that society only allows females to cover up blemishes and highlight their cheekbones? If a man wants to wear makeup, he should wear it proudly, and I think he should be able to sport some CoverGirl (CoverBoy?) without people attacking his masculinity.

I have to wonder, however, if society accepting men wearing makeup is actually a positive thing. Because if there does come a day when a male can proudly display eyeliner without being called a goth or a metrosexual, men will also be exposed to all the beauty pressures and expectations that women currently suffer under. On one hand, it would allow males to finally fully understand how women feel in being constantly bombarded with images of "beauty," but on the other hand... if standards of beauty eventually extend to males, wouldn't that be a step backwards for us? Don't we aim to eliminate all these pressures, rather than subject more people to them? It's a tough subject. What do you all think?

What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories

3 comments: to “ Boys jump on the beauty bandwagon

  • March 22, 2008 at 8:01 PM  

    i agree with you... i feel like, even though you and i wear makeup, we at least acknowledge that it might be influenced by the age-old societal pressures to look pretty... we acknowledge that, and we do it for fun.. not because we think we look hideous without it. and i agree that men should be able to wear makeup if they want... but it also makes me think of trans people.. now i am in no place to question someone else's sexuality.. but to what extent does someone naturally feel they are male or female.. and to what extent are these gender roles just created by society? if we didn't have rigid gender roles, would there be as many trans people? if we didnt have such rigid definitions of what it meant to be female or male, would we have as many people saying "gee, i identify with all of these supposedly female characteristics... i consider myself a woman" (not that that's how it happens, but still)

    who says that wearing dresses and makeup is only female? i'm totally not articulating this the way i have it in my head but i hope you see what im getting at. if i ended up sounding really dumb and offensive to everyone im sorry ... i have the utmost respect for all trans people, i just have a hard time understanding some stuff...

  • March 22, 2008 at 8:27 PM  

    I think men wearing makeup is more of a choice than anything else. Rarely will I see a guy wearing cover up to deal with an acne issue, but girls do it all the time, even if they don't have skin problems. From what I've noticed, men in makeup is more of a statement of who they want to be and their personality. I've seen men who wear makeup without ever being perceived as goth; rather, it's more about fucking with gender norms. It's androgynous. Look at all those fucking rockstars out there. The Killers, anyone?

  • March 30, 2008 at 1:07 PM  

    Alright so, a couple of things, and this is really probably going to get people mad at me, but I feel I need to say it anyway...

    As someone who has been "on both sides of the fence" if you will, men already do have a beauty pressue. It may not be as strong, but it is definatly there. The pressure to be chiseled, thin, the perfect jawline, perfect hair. The list extends quite a lot. There is a growing number of men going in for surgical modifications to get this "ultimate physique". Now, I am not trying to downplay a womans understanding of the beauty pressures that she has, by all means I am completely aware that those expectations are really fucked up. I just wanted to point that out...

    As for Leslie's comment. I've heard this arguement before in the feminist community and it's always rather hurtful for someone who is both transgender and a feminist (albeit a male one, which is pretty damn hard on its own). First, being trans is not sexuality ("now i am in no place to question someone else's sexuality") it's gender identtiy and there are distinct differences. Second, I know for me, it was never "gee, i identify with all of these supposedly male characteristics" it was "hey... I'm a boy." I doubt you would find many transgender people who would have had that experience.