Alright guys, let’s talk. I recently learned last year that just about every guy cares about their hair. I had spent the first 18 years of my life thinking that guy’s hair naturally swooped to the side, had volume and got cute little curls. I was wrong.
Apparently, guys style their hair almost every single day, who knew? I didn’t. Here’s another thing: guys use cologne. Guys care about personal grooming, which is amazing, however, we don’t talk about it. Why?
The beauty industry is female-centered. More specifically, it is centered towards white, thin, cisgender women. Hope is not lost though as our lord and savior Rihanna absolutely changed the beauty industry with the launch of her Fenty Beauty line. Rihanna demonstrated that inclusivity and diversity are always welcome additions to makeup and lingerie brands (take that, Victoria’s Secret). Rihanna is not alone either as other brands are making headway by using plus size models. Ashley Graham for example, is killing the game. She openly advocates that beauty does not have a specific size or body type.
We still need to bring men into the conversation though. More specifically, we need to change how men view their aesthetic practices. Here’s the thing, beauty is not gender-specific. Even though the beauty industry is so heavily focused towards women, men also care about their looks. We have to alter our dialogue around the feminization of beauty practices and the desire to take care of one’s appearance.
As established, I was pathetically unaware of the fact that guys have their morning routines that go beyond brushing their teeth. Hair gel and mousse are essential and this is because guys love their hair, and this is good! Every guy has a specific process that they go through in the mornings. I know guys who call this routine a “process,” a “secret,” or their “secret weapon.” I also like watching guys do their hair, please don’t judge me. Given that I spend a minute every morning spreading black goo on my eyelashes, I appreciate that guys also have their little daily practices.
As a society, we have weird perceptions about beauty. As a woman, I find that people want me to wear makeup, but not too much makeup. I am expected to find a line between what people will perceive is flattering instead of promiscuous. This is terrible because makeup is not indicative of anything about a person, and there is nothing wrong with using makeup to display your sexuality. However, this is the harsh reality of beauty. Moreover, for men we see that paying attention to ones looks is feminized, and it’s seen as emasculating if he cares about his looks or spends time on personal grooming.
This is where my PSA to men comes in. Guys, you have to talk about your beauty routines because there is nothing wrong with taking pride in how you look. In fact, its admirable and attractive. Having pride in yourself is always going to be amazing, regardless of how this pride is taken.
I admire when guys admit that they are having bad hair days because everyone has bad hair days. It is so refreshing to hear when guys admit that they are self-conscious, too. I admire when guys talk about having acne and bags under their eyes, and I admire when guys ask advice for their eyebrows or facial hair.
Let me repeat myself, beauty is not gender-specific and taking pride in ones appearance is not gender-specific. Having a beauty-routine is not gender specific either, so it is totally okay to have bad self-esteem days. Tell a friend, and don’t bottle this up because chances are, your friends will know what those bad days feel like too.
So to any man or person who reads this, please know that your beauty and morning routines are valid and good. You only have one body, take care of it and let others know.