As makeup becomes more socially acceptable for men to wear, the benefits of it are called into question.
So I came across the article “Makeup for Men Is on the Rise—and No Longer a Taboo” the other day and couldn’t help but wonder about the second part of that headline. You see, for makeup to stop being taboo it means men have always wanted to wear it, but just couldn’t because of society rules. Now is that what’s really happened?
Let’s look at this from an evolutionary standpoint. Millions of years ago a cavewoman would want a man who had qualities to make him a good partner to have children with and to help her take care of their offspring.
I imagine she must have considered in him things such as heights and muscle mass to chase after lions and what have you, but taking care of a family probably meant much more than that. That’s what I always think about when I see a rich old man with a beautiful young girlfriend. People are very quick to judge them, but if you think about it from an evolutionary point of view both are making the best possible choices.
You could argue that men should be showing the same sort of behavior, but you’d be forgetting to consider that women have a lot more at stake when it comes to sex—and the very likely possibility of getting pregnant—so unlike us they need to be very picky. For millions of years (and for many women still today) pregnancy not only puts her health at risk but will often hinder her ability to provide for herself, not to mention the difficulties in taking care of the baby after they’re born. Not everyone gets to be born in 21st century Sweden.
That’s also why silicon implants in men have never made any sense to me. After all, not only women usually look at much more than just looks, what good can come from fake muscles if when push comes to shove he won’t be strong enough to defend her? And I know breast implants in women aren’t very evolutionarily smart either, but for men they have fewer implications in the success of their lineage so they don’t mind. Yes, we’re just very superficial that way.
We are not, of course, living in caves anymore and arguing from the perspective of men fighting lions sounds as stupid as getting biceps implants, but what I want to understand about the whole “breaking the taboo of makeup for men” is what good can come from introducing yet another useless, impractical beauty standard into our lives? Especially to a part of the population that today is moderately healthy in its approach to looks and fashion (at least compared to women)? Should we all just get on-board and suffer the agonies of high heels and hot waxing too?
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.
Cosmetic companies have long tried to convince men to buy their products, but until now they’ve all failed over the fact that, let’s face it, men never really needed to look that good to impress women. In fact, we learn that men who “try too hard” must be overcompensating for a weakness he’s hiding, which naturally makes them unappealing to the opposite sex.
But times they are a-changing and we’re reaching a point where men “are allowed” by society to wear makeup. Though I am sure there is a portion of the male population who’ll enjoy the idea, the whole thing just smells like consumerist agenda. Like marketing forcing men to buy things they don’t need, cosmetic companies doubling their markets and more of us getting miserable and insecure about the way we look.
Photo: Hye Soo Nah/AP