The beauty world has historically been a realm exclusively reserved to women. Whether it’s make-up or skincare, most products haven’t catered to men, and often, society has cast judgment on men who like to use them.
It goes without saying that the idea of manhood is far from being clear. Men are expected to be unreasonably strong—both physically and emotionally. They’re expected to be protective, suppressing their sensible selves. Men have to be tough and look rough. So when it comes to skincare, or any form of cosmetics dedicated to men, you’ll find them labeled ‘pure sport’ ‘phoenix’ or ‘timber’.
This is especially the case for fragrances. Men must smell of either wood or whiskey. Who would actually want to smell like either one? You’ll also almost always find them to describe non-tangible sentiments. You’ve surely come across a ‘cool breeze’ scented deodorant in the supermarket.
Women’s deodorant: Pick your favorite flower 💕
Men’s deodorant: Ya want rock or wood? pic.twitter.com/zb8o3t77lu
— Nathan Lawrence 🌈 (@NathanBLawrence) July 13, 2021
And beyond deodorants and fragrances, men have largely been excluded from traditional skincare and beauty products that are actually useful. Whilst moisturizers and SPF are a staple for most women, they’re hardly acknowledged as a necessity for most men. We’re here to argue that’s fast changing.
In this day and age, we are seeing a real wind of change swift on the shelves of this industry. Whilst we’ve yet to completely rid ourselves of gendered products, the world of beauty is embracing inclusivity and parting ways with the traditional ‘grooming’ section that men frequent. Now, it’s all about genderless beauty products that anyone can use.
Calvin Klein was one of the first to do it, dating all the way to 1994. CK One was one of the world’s first unisex fragrances. They challenged the status-quo face first and went as far as casting both men and women for the message to be clear to all. Gender is fluid and so should products.
Since, and as the world shifts into new definitions of gender, many have decided to follow in their steps. Rihanna’s Fenty beauty or even more recently Tyler the Creator’s Golf Le Fleur have been moving the dial forward and started venturing into uncharted territory with their own range of gender-neutral products.
The impact has been global. In the region men are growing more and more comfortable sporting makeup and using skincare products. Look at Jordanian singer Idreesi or the Cairo-based crooner Zaid Khaled. They’re paving the way towards a world that is gender-fluid in every sense of the word.