Makeup for Men? Why?

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About Ramon Pedrollo Bez

A Brazilian native, Ramon Pedrollo Bez is back after years working for various startups in the UK and is Head of Growth for ResolveAí, a Rio-based taxi app startup. You can connect with him on Twitter @ramonbez or @ramonbez Linkedin.

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  1. Great to see you on here. Here’s an article you might like on the link between impracticality and status in Western culture, and why men stopped wearing high heels: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21151350

    • Very interesting. That reminds me of how long nails in men are very popular in parts of Asia, to show you don’t do manual labour.

      • Yeah. Times change. These days, there’s status for affluent white people in having a perfect tan. It used to be that upper class white people would demonstrate status by having no tan at all (as in: “I never have to work out in the sun”).

        • Hah- a few years ago my son played on a soccer team about 1/2 Anglo and 1/2 Hispanic. The Hispanic moms, mostly, sat on sunny days under umbrellas while the Anglo moms were catching rays.

    • Jameseq says:

      ive always been a supporter of the hemmelhack position, glad her reading of history is getting a wider audience. there are still some who believe that the high heels just spontaneously and simultaneously appeared in the west, without any influence from the then more developed east.

      just like some victorian historians tried to construct a similar narrative about a number of things that ‘magically just popped up’ in the west, like guns and gunpowder ( i remember history books in the 1980s that conceded that while the chinese may have had gunpowder, they never manufactured weaponry but instead used gunpowder just for fireworks)

  2. “Especially to a part of the population that today is moderately healthy in its approach to looks and fashion (at least compared to women)?”

    I don’t know about that. Healthy with regards to the amount of time spent on it? Yes.

    But options? There’s none.

    Spending little time on something you have zero option (or close to) isn’t particularly spectacular.

    If you can pick a black or a white car, will you spend hours at the dealership looking at engines and wheels?

    But if you can pick every part, every option and decide if you want to add or remove stuff, and hand-color every part of the car, even have special personalized stickers put on it – wouldn’t you possibly spend more time at the dealership?

    That’s the difference between men and women’s fashion options. The difference between men and women’s hair dye options. The difference between deciding between “the usual or the casual” for your clothing vs opening your wardrobe and wondering for 30 minutes because you have dozens of possibilities.

    • But Schala, do you not think that this lack of options you describe is the chicken and not the egg in this scenario? That there isn’t a lot of options because there is no market for it yet, instead of the other way around?

      • There is no demand for it because it’s reputation suicide for most men (ie barring Dennis Rodman-like options. Because of the cultural narrative.

        It’s not that men “naturally prefer drab clothing”, it’s that men’s gender role is defined as functional, performative, robotic, clone-like.

        As such expression is considered an handicap, a shirking of his duties.

        So we shame men who adopt any colorful, artistic, or prefers aestheticism to function in clothing, hair etc (for himself).

        This shame results in anxiety towards anything perceived as “too creative/artistic” and is a VERY big part of the reason why arts are female dominated, from piano to ballet to painting (at the amateur level). It’s not natural, it’s created because it makes men easier to control for our consumerist society somehow.

        Then they can spend on women and dates instead.

        • KC Krupp says:

          The funny thing is this being “reputation suicide” is a recent development.

          The idea that men using make-up is defying traditional gender norms is hilarious, that is unless you define “traditional” only by the last 100 years. Historically fashion, including the use of make-up, was enormously important for men, and women’s fashion followed men’s fashion.

          Men have used all sorts of dyes, make-ups, and other things throughout history to “primp and prime themselves” and you only start to see the “rugged no-make-up, simple-dress man” in recent history.

          Think of all those kings, queens, emperors, and celebrities throughout history. The dapper British dandy used to be one of the pinnacles of sophistication, and men were supposed to primp, prime, and prepare themselves even up through the 1950s.

          • Just watch The Forbidden Kingdom.

            The Jade Emperor has copious amounts of face makeup (mostly around eyes), and long nails.

            And I know it historically was truthfullly a sign of aristocracy (the long nails) to “handicap yourself” regarding physical work. And good make-up was to show off. Slaves didn’t need to show off. Spartacus slave women having make-up (in the TV show) is a bit weird, except when they play prostitutes and are groomed by their owners for it.

            Dyed and powdered wigs, the mark of the rich and high status.

          • What guys primped and were pampered? The 1% perhaps, but the 99% had real problems to deal with…

  3. “What I would love to see is gender equality going in the opposite direction, where expensive makeup and plastic surgeries were ridiculous to both sexes, instead of bringing men into this beauty-magazine insanity.”

    I have to agree with this standpoint. There is now such a push for females to look genuine, that makeup, weight etc don’t matter as much as confidence does. I believe the Dove product line very much looks at minimalism in beauty, rather than going over the top. The idea of “real women” (or more appropriately, average shape and size) as models is gaining ground….yet now there is makeup for men?!? It doesn’t make any sense at all, push for women to be their most genuine selves, but men to begin wearing makeup..

    • Exactly. That’s the whole point. I’m all for anyone wearing makeup if that’s what they really want, but I’m 100% against needless consumerism in any gender.

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