It is rumoured that soon, very soon, make-up for men will be as common and as plentifully available in the shopping aisles as the stuff for females. The four or five huge corporations who control the make-up production of the world are no longer satisfied with draining the pockets and messing up the minds of the women, and following the inexorable rules of capitalism, are expanding into new markets: the men.
This understandably makes “regular” guys very anxious. Very, very anxious. It is not the monetary aspect- though that should be foremost in their minds. Do you know how much, I, a humble newcomer living in a small provincial town up in Canada spend on make-up? But I digress. It is another insidious worry, nagging away at them: Make-up will make them look “girly”. Feminine. Make-up will reduce from their splendid manliness. Make-up is not masculine, they think. They do want to enhance their looks, for sure, and they don’t think it’s fair that women get to hide their zits and black circles so easily, but. But. They are afraid that if they use make-up, like women, they will actually look like women.
Oh, you are so wrong, Gentle Men. Don’t misunderstand me- I am no spokesperson for L’Oreal For Men. I am not encouraging you to use make-up, I am merely pointing out that make-up does not equate femininity. A made-up man is not a girly man.
I do not need the picture of Mr. Manson to prove my point. Just google image guyliner, like I did. Study the results. Do any of these darkened eyes scream “femininity” to you? Consider this: in my part of the world, kohl (sormeh) was historically and regularly used by the fellas to add even more depth and shadow to their already deep shadowy eyes, (as well as for the alleged benefits of kohl for eyesight). Those desert dudes were not afraid, not at all, of being thought “girly”. They just wanted smoking hot eyes.
“Femininity” is constructed out of a whole array of gestures, body language, speech patterns, looks. It evokes softness, smoothness, niceness, malleability.Foundation and eyeliner does not a feminine character make. Look at the jerky angular movements of some of the most notorious man-make-up users in the media: David Bowie, Ville Valo, Freddy Mercury, other people whose names I don’t like typing out. (but not because of the make-up) They are not feminine, or girly- they exhibit none of the characteristics associated with femininity. They are as “masculine” as can be. The make-up is merely a fancy accessory, nothing else.
And so, men, be afraid that the make-up for men will drain your pockets and your time, will set unrealistic expectations of beauty for you, will cause you to obsess about your skin. But don’t worry that it will make you feminine. It won’t.