Making a difference for men and boys, in the beauty industry.

In the same way that we globally celebrate International Women’s Day on on 8th of March every year, men have their own day too. That day, is today! And this year’s International Men’s Day theme is: Making a difference for men and boys. I thought it was important to discuss this topic within the beauty industry. Men’s grooming products and gender-neutral beauty is, and has been, on the rise for some time now on the beauty scene. Realistically, all makeup is (and always has been) the same anyway, and I think it’s about time that everyone saw it this way.

More and more men are using makeup products to express their true selves and using skincare and grooming products to take care of the body they’re in. I think it’s about time that these men were used to set an example to others, to portray braveness and unapologetically be themselves. This International Men’s Day, I want to look at how we can make a difference to men and boys in the business of beauty. As perception of genders evolve, the division between men and women’s beauty and grooming is remorselessly merging together.

International Men’s Day stated that their aim this year was to ‘promote the need to value men and boys and help people make practical improvement’s in men and boy’s health and well-being.’ This goes not only for their physical health, but their mental health as well. This day, dedicated specifically to our male friends of the world, encourages men to lead by example and be positive role models.

Unfortunately, beauty has been linked to ‘masculinity’ with a negative connotation far too many times. However, the definition of the word, ‘masculine’, is rapidly changing. Gone are the days where being classed as masculine meant that you aggressively hid your feelings and lifted weights in the gym. Today, it means to talk openly, to be whoever you want to be every day of the week, and it means you should wear makeup if that’s what your heart desires.

Why do women wear makeup? Perhaps they just like to, or maybe they’re covering up what they feel are imperfections.

Why do men wear makeup? It could be because they enjoy it, or they might be camouflaging what they think is an imperfection.

Sadly, there is still such an inappropriate stigma around men choosing to wear makeup, for whatever reason they wish to, and even around the usage of skincare and grooming products. It’s astonishingly barbaric that men are slandered for taking care of their own skin and that such judgement can be the cause of so many mental health issues. The boys and young men of today need role models who demonstrate total acceptance and confidence.

What can we do to help? To begin with, claiming that beauty for men is ‘the next big trend’ needs to be modified, because it’s not just a hype that will come and go and it certainly shouldn’t be advertised as one. The beauty industry is expanding and progressing to be something much more than just some coloured liquid on your face. It’s becoming a means of expression and character, a safe place where you’re sole purpose is to acknowledge your true identity.

Making a difference for boys and men can mean a lot of things. Here in the beauty world, I believe that it means to eliminate judgement from our lives and promote fearless individuality. It means making a positive difference to their future by forcing a positive impact on it today. It’s about time that everyone began to perceive men and women’s beauty equally, and there’s no better time to start (if you don’t already) than on International Men’s Day.