You can’t bottle the true make up of a man
For years the beauty industry has stayed afloat off the back of female insecurity. Blemishes, wrinkles, bags under the eyes, there’s always a product to purchase. And now men are being encouraged to do the same.
From ‘moisturising aftershave’ to ‘Urban Camouflage concealer’, it’s all very metro-macho. Unsurprisingly, make-up for men seems to be taking off in the land of the plastic fantastic - the United States. According to an American study, the amount of money spent on facial skincare products for men grew 11 percent from 2010 compared to 2011.
Sure, the packaging is more cigar box than bath-bomb princess, and it’s never directly referred to as ‘make-up,’ but sales of men’s toiletries are expected to hit $3.2 billion USD by 2016. Products beyond the standard aftershaves, shampoos and deodorants are an increasingly large percentage of this figure.
As the labels say, these new products are all about ‘power,’ and ‘coverage’. But does this strategy actually work on Australian men?
Most Aussie guys pride themselves on bravado and ‘sun-kissed’ skin, but they’re no strangers to a bit of pampering either. Thousands of them take medication like Roacutane to avoid acne-pockmarks, and even more spend money going to the hairdresser. Sites like BeautyMate.com.au makes money packaging moisturisers with endearing labels like the ‘Big Boy Pack,’ and ‘Good on You Shampoo.’ But makeup? Surely Aussie men are too proud for that.
Most women I know wear make-up because it’s expected and it makes them look good. It highlights the nice things and covers the bad. So why are men who have been told for decades that all they need to do is spray deodorant to get laid, suddenly reaching for the foundation bottle?
Maybe it’s because we’re a generation obsessed with ourselves, trying all the while to look our very best. But who said a polished, immaculately smelling man is best? It’s no secret that ‘rugged’ is a term of endearment when directed at guys. I’d go so far as to list ‘stubble’ a desirable characteristic.
One thing’s for sure, if men do make the choice to dabble in concealer or de-wrinkle their face, the reaction if you’re found out ain’t pretty. Mark Zuckerberg was crucified for wearing make up during a video filmed before Facebook’s public launch. Apparently he was trying to hide the circles around his eyes.
You’d hope that the wheels of paranoia which have convinced women for decades they need altering haven’t caught up to men. Gender roles are fluent and I’m all for equality, but ‘cake-face’ isn’t a term Australian men should aspire to.
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