Cultural changes come naturally with time. What was once unheard of in the past may be the newest trend tomorrow, just as the trends of today required the same process prior to being established. In the same way, styles and trends don’t always catch on either.
The acceptance of different definitions of gender in our society has come leaps and bounds from where it was decades ago. Of course, differing opinions on the effect of such a mindset, whether speaking on gender-specific bathrooms, clothes and formerly-concrete gender guidelines, do exist. Those who are different from the traditional mold of boys and girls, however, have more freedom than ever to be themselves in a world that was pretty far behind in adjusting to it.
Beauty stands in the forefront of breaking what many previously considered the standards of gender, with many brands in the industry adjusting to consumers worldwide. Fragrance brand, Phlur, sells unisex products that base more on an individual’s experiences and personality than their gender itself. Giorgio Armani released a range of lip balms for their fall makeup collection that are branded as “for him/for her.”
Within beauty, makeup is becoming the most prominent topic of discussion surrounding gender neutrality. In fact, brands like Milk Makeup have centered their entire launch around genderless products.
Gen Z has already proven to be the strongest driving force for spreading gender freedom in modernity, with no milestone standing much higher for the cause than James Charles being named as Covergirl’s first male ambassador. Fashion bloggers like Charles garner an extensive following on social media for their makeup tutorials, though their gender has hardly any bearing on their talent or creativity. Charles and many others serve somewhat as role models for self-expression, unhindered by negative opinions and urging likeminded individuals to do the same.
Asking if makeup for men has become mainstream subsequently becomes a question of whether enough of the world is accepting of it for there to be a business. It seems that way from the size of male beauty bloggers’ online audiences, continually growing on a daily basis.
To think that the makeup industry is predominantly fueled by female consumers is far from outrageous, but assuming that the demographic is the entirety of such certainly is. No sign acts as evidence of this more than the adaptation of beauty brands towards male consumers in the first place. After Jean Pau Gaultier’s unfortunate failure doing so in the 1980’s, retailers wouldn’t be willing to pursue that venture without being confident that there’s sizable interest on the other end.
If it’s still too difficult to determine whether men’s makeup has broken through, the next few years will ultimately deliver an undoubtable answer.