Updated: Oct 25, 2020
By Samantha Simmons
Image via MAGDYLENE, a slanted guide to Women and issues
Since birth, we have been taught that there is a standard that men must uphold in the means of societal views. Men have constantly been told that to fit into societal normality and that in order to be a “real” man, they must be tough, strong, emotionless and “macho”.
These de-humanizing standards for the “perfect” man have been in place for centuries, seen only in black and white. Long before the discussion on “toxic masculinity” women have been fighting to de-objectify their gender. Women's issues seem to be on the forefront of political struggle. We have not been bashful to discuss the details of feminist issues geared toward women and the idea of an impossible standard for the female gender. But finally, activists are trying to dissect toxic masculinity and break it down.
What is toxic masculinity?
Toxic masculinity is the push on cultural and societal norms for the male gender, revolving around the execution of emotions, fashion, and strength. The feminist explorations of the 21st century have finally taken a hit to toxic masculinity, and men have decided to come forward and express themselves in fashion, makeup and vanity in a way that breaks the traditional “roles” that men have been taught to play in the vanity and makeup industry.
Toxic masculinity highly influences the makeup and care industry today still, but let's take a look at the progress we have made in our journey to breaking down gender norms via makeup and accessories.
Male influencers popular on social media can be seen artistically applying makeup to match their outfits, causing trends honed in on makeup for men to arise. James Charles, a Youtuber, Instagram influencer and social media icon, inspires his viewers to have fun with clothing and makeup. One can view his channel and watch makeup, tutorials or challenges revolving around beauty and vanity not targeted or catered to a single gender. Charles has millions of fans, and uses his voice to help the younger generation understand that makeup can be for everyone.
Image via @jamescharles
Thanks to influencers like Charles, who spread new ideas in personal skincare and makeup for all genders, the Men's Personal Care Market is geared to reach $166 Billion, globally, by 2022. Statistics like these show growth in the number of men realizing that there is no question in man-hood when a man wears makeup.
Generation Z men are almost solely responsible for a boost in sales in the market of makeup and care products. Known as the “social media” generation, “Gen-Zers” grew up watching male influencers develop trends in beauty products without gender conformity. Newer generations aid in erasing toxic masculinity from society, especially in the care industry.
Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in taking down the toxic idea of a “perfect” man, thanks to social media itself and a newer set of ideals brought forth. Clearly, there is a long way to go in the crushing of toxic masculinity itself, but we have truly come a long way from where we started in the march toward eliminating confining gender-norms.
Written by writer Samantha Simmons.