Whether we like it or not, the first thing we notice is someone’s appearance. The way their hair is styled; the way their shirt is tucked; the way they smile, or least, they way their face looks like. Before they even open their mouths, you take a full analysis of them just from the way they look. This doesn’t mean that we “judge by appearance”. This does not make you judgmental or materialistic; this is a normal, human thing. Decency require us to never judge a book by its cover, correct? Well, not true.
Lately, especially at the western side of the world, men have been implementing beauty hacks and applying make up on themselves. I think you can guess the nasty, mean comments they have been getting; whether the person said it to himself/herself, reacted with his/her face, or commented on that person’s video or in that person’s face. None of this is cool, or even acceptable.
Most beauty hacks are there to conceal a certain uncomfortableness caused by acne, hyperpigmentation, frizzy hair, scars, etc. Even if you use the beauty hacks for minor troubles, such as big pores, oily skin, or even a dehydrated skin. I don’t want to be shocking, but those problems face men too. Very shocking is it? I don’t know how, but men have skin, hair, and lips, and all these factors get affected by the seasonal changes or any other reason.
Men need those beauty masks to remove their augmented acne. Men need to use lip balm, that leave a shine whether they want it or not, to conceal their inflamed lips or smoothen it after it’s been chapped. Men could use all those shaving hacks in order to have a smoother, less itchy skin. Men can do oil treatments for their hair and beard to keep them smooth and clean. However, do you know what men don’t need? They can definitely live without you calling them a girl, calling them girl names, insulting their masculinity, or addressing femininity as an insult in front of them, just because they are following such hacks. Those so called “feminine” beauty hacks are more hygienic than feminine. They help a man stay clean, soft, fresh, and happy, but do you know what ruins his satisfaction? Your unreasonable comments.
In fact, let me introduce you to a not-so-new topic called “Toxic Masculinity”, which is giving specific ideas and setting unrealistic and well, toxic measures for men, under the name of masculinity or “regoola”. So, let it sink in men’s heads that taking care of your appearance and self is “girly” is toxic masculinity. Planting such idea in a kid’s head would result in a careless, toxic male member of the society.
Moreover, let’s discuss the fact that you’d rather see a person with acne, chapped lips, uneven beard or eyebrows, or dry, dandruff-y hair than see a person with a face mask, Chapstick, or oil on their body. You would rather enjoy someone’s discomfort while the solution is right there in front of them: accessible and useful. Why is beautification and treatment even defined as a women thing? Why does a man need to live with any problem that might cause him an insecurity just so he doesn’t fall under a bigger problem that might cause him a bigger insecurity? How does a layer of color on someone’s face that can be washed out indicate that he is being too feminine or girly?
Perhaps this problem is not as major as other problems to you, but regardless of that, it leads to major ones. Today you tell a male that he is being girly for taking care of himself, or applying any of those beauty hacks he has seen online. The next day you might find him screaming out “You hit like a girl” to his “weaker” male friend as if it’s a funny joke or an inspiration for him, not acknowledging how insulting it is to his friend and for women, and how disgracing it is for him to say such a thing.
How about you try saying something different? How would it feel like if you praise a man who would go through the pain of threading in order to have a neat-looking beard? Wouldn’t it feel different to tell someone that their efforts of removing their acne and blackheads are actually showing? Imagine the smile you would put on someone’s face after telling them the lip balm has been doing miracles to their previously inflamed lips. If you can’t brighten the mindset of an entire society, start by lighting a candle, the effect of that would last long enough, and will eventually, lead to an inferno of change.