Real Women Debate Whether Or Not Men Should Wear Makeup
Real Women Debate Whether Or Not Men Should Wear Makeup. (Via Getty Images).

Pretty much anyone who owned a copy of Good Charlotte’s The Young and the Hopeless went through a phase where they assumed that eyeliner on guys (or “guyliner,” if you want to get really nostalgic) was a trend with staying power. I thought it was super hot. I was thirteen, I was singing about dismantling the establishment at someone’s chaperoned middle school birthday party, and I was wishing all the boys in my class would take a lesson from Joel Madden and draw black circles around their eyes. They never did, and I had to move on to bigger and better dreams.

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We then went through a dark age for straight boys wearing makeup until, I think, very recently. Unless the internet has lied to me, I think tinted moisturizer and concealer are starting to become a thing for guys. There are more and more products on the market with “manly” packaging to make it okay for insecure bros to try them out. I work with actors in LA, and I’m starting to get suspicious about their ultra-clear complexions on non-shooting days. Some famous men have even spoken up about enjoying makeup. And, like many other things… I don’t know how I feel about it.

On the one hand, I think it’s awesome that we’re slowly working out of the rigid gender roles we’ve all been forced to conform to for centuries, and I’m totally in favor of people expressing themselves in any way they want. I’m also in favor of returning to an age where it’s masculine to take pride in your appearance and put in a little bit of effort to show that you give a damn.

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On the other hand, I love that there’s a community surrounding makeup and beauty, and I worry that once it becomes an entirely gender-neutral thing, it’ll lose its girls’-club-safe-space feeling. I worry that the presence of men will “legitimize” what’s already legitimate. I worry, too, that advertising that’s always worked on women (you’re so disgusting and ugly that you need to buy these products! The world hates you! WEAR MORE FOUNDATION!) will start being targeted to everyone. While I like the idea of smug guys getting a taste of that, I don’t actually wish for our equality to come from everyone feeling like shit.

I’m wondering: How do you feel about men wearing makeup? Keep in mind that I am not in any way talking about trans women here (because guess what? Trans women aren’t men! Imagine that!). I’m also not talking about people who fit somewhere in the middle of the gender spectrum, and I’m also not talking about men wearing makeup in the context of drag, theatre, or another kind of performance. I’m talking about your run-of-the-mill cisgender dude, whom you might end up going out with once or twice, rocking a little bit of mascara to your date at Chili’s.

Do you think it’s hot? Do you think it’s okay for other people but not really something that attracts you? Do you want makeup to stay in Girl World? Are you excited that men are starting to feel comfortable trying it out? Leave us a comment, and maybe we can solve this mystery together!

We’ve always been able to count on our readers to bring awesome insight to the comments section, so we’re giving you guys a chance every Friday to tell us how you feel about new trends! Click here to see the Tell Us How You Feel About archives.



    • I couldn’t agree more! Makeup is an art and a form of self-expression, and it shouldn’t be confined to any gender. Everyone should have the freedom to enhance their features and express themselves in the way they feel most confident. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and joining the conversation.

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