The newest face of cover girl is glamorous, stylish, AND a guy! Yup that’s right; Covergirl has announced 17-year-old social media star James Charles as their first ever male ambassador.
Architecture student at Knights Park Kristofer Mattsson says his sexuality often comes into question when people see him in makeup. He sits before me in bright green trousers, huge earrings and a thick wooden necklace explaining the struggle his style has faced him with.
“I am asked a fair bit, ‘what is your sexuality’, and I understand why people ask,” he tells me while running a perfectly manicured hand along the hem of his fur coat.
“One time I dyed my eyebrows pink and I posted a photo of it and my dad sent me a long message saying that he was confused if I was gay or bisexual or something.”
Kristofer says he believes he lives in a bubble as to him gender roles do not exist.
“At Knights Park you can pretty much do whatever you want and nobody judges you. When I go back home I notice the difference. There is an unwritten law in Norway that if you stick out of the crowd it means you’re a try hard.”
He expresses sadness at gender roles as he believes people should be left to their own devices instead of feeling a need to conform.
“Guys doing girl things and girls doing guy things has the potential to bring so much art, music, and fashion but people are afraid to stick out so they don’t do it which is really sad,” he says.
21-year-old criminology student Joe Cripps is an avid protestor who works as a legal observer for Green and Black Cross. He sits beside me with a face full of makeup in a t-shirt with ‘refugees welcome here’ splashed across the front: “I am not convinced [men wearing makeup] is socially acceptable yet, but people are becoming a lot more open to it. I am sure there are a lot of people that are very against guys wearing makeup but I feel there is a huge global shift towards it becoming more mainstream,” he says.
The pressure to be macho or risk being seen as gay or feminine means that men often feel they don’t even have the option to conceal a blemish in the way women do.
21-year-old KU business management student, Jens Nielsen occasionally wears makeup. He says: “makeup is not seen as something men should do but the main problem is there is no real makeup for men, there is no place for men to go to shop or learn about how to use it so it’s not really comfortable for them to do it.”
The male beauty industry is expanding every single day, and why should makeup be tailored to one gender? Should makeup be genderless?
22-year-old KU fashion student Aiden Hornsby says: “I can’t do it for work as I manage a restaurant, I don’t think I would be taken seriously…I don’t think people are that educated or open minded about men in makeup…I would never leave the house without my eyebrows though”.
With Covergirl establishing its brand as gender-neutral and social media sites, such as Youtube and Instagram allowing for freedom of expression, we can see more tolerance in society towards a man in makeup. Beauty writer at Instyle George Driver believes there is hope in the future of the beauty industry.
“MAC just announced their collaboration with ten global influencers, which includes men, and Tom Ford’s range of makeup and skincare for men just keeps expanding, so clearly there’s a customer that’s asking for these products.
“I think there’s probably a lot of men out there wishing they could wear makeup but feeling like it’s not socially acceptable,” she says.
Why shouldn’t men know their way around a contour palette just as well as women do? Makeup has nothing to do with sexual identity or gender.
As Miss Driver very nicely put it: “embracing equality is a social movement and it makes sense for makeup brands to be a part of that.”