Men Wearing Makeup And What It Means For Women

One random Wednesday night, on a campus well-known for its progressive lean, a friend wonders aloud to me if that cute boy in her class with the nail polish is gay or not. He doesn’t have to be, she says. I shrug and ask her if she’d go out with him if he were interested. “ Of course,” she replies. “He’s funny. And smart. And that color looks good on him."

The times, they are a’changin’—for men and women.         

Ladies—whether due to societal urges or a burning desire for longer lashes—spend an average of $15,000 on beauty products over their lifetimes. But men are starting to give them a run for their money, and they don’t have to be gay or conducting a sociological experiment to indulge in a pedicure or buy moisturizer specifically intended for faces. The only question: Is the world ready for that? 

Turns out, even in the 21st century, men can get a lot of flack for wearing a little eyeliner. One dude on Buzzfeed proved it: Isaac Fitzgerald spent a week wearing makeup to and from work and learned a thing or two from it. According to his story, no one at the office notices him donning mascara and longer lashes on the first day. But once he applies the lipstick on day four, attention starts picking up. Most of his female coworkers compliment or critique him; most of his male coworkers barely make eye contact. “Men walk in and out of stalls and glance at me from the corners of their eyes,” he reports. “I ask one familiar face how his holidays were and he fills me in on his New Year’s Eve without looking at me once.”

At the office, Fitzgerald doesn’t have a tough time of it. But it would be completely different if the experiment was repeated in bars at night donning mascara or lipstick or foundation. See, the country isn’t really there yet in terms of allowing guys to wear “girly stuff” without pinning an assumed identity on them. Until it becomes just something that some guys do, most men wearing beauty products marketed to women will experience social stigma.  

But that night on campus, my friend just thought a cute boy was wearing a fierce polish—and the confidence to pull off something that most men can’t was reason enough to find him intriguing. We say rock on dudes—just make sure to put back our makeup when you borrow it. 

Image via Buzzfeed

See How Female Beauty Ideals Have Changed Over 3,000 Years In Just 3 Minutes

You know what they say... “3 minutes could give you 3,000 years or more on beauty standards.” 

Wait, no, that’s not what they say. But it is what this Buzzfeed video is giving us. Over the span of 3000 years, this video summarizes the female ideal with just a handful of models, from Ancient Egypt to Victorian England to the postmodern poster girl. 

Some fun facts from the video are listed below:

  • Ancient Egypt is the only era that does not overtly or subtly idealize fair skin
  • In Ancient Greece, women were considered to be disfigured versions of men
  • The Han Dynasty forced women to bind their feet in order to achieve the beauty standard and gain a suitable husband
  • We would definitely call an ideal Italian woman during the Renaissance plus size”, but we don’t think the Italians of the era would see that like we do
  • Victorian England, what does “desirably plump” even mean?
  • By the twenties, these standards became a little more specific, and by the nineties they were frankly kind of wacky, with “waifish”, “translucent skin”, and “thigh gap” ruling the female ideal up until postmodern today.

Whatever body type you are, it’s important to realize from this video that we shouldn’t have to make ourselves sick trying to attain the beauty standards of now – and not just because they’re fleeting and/or totally unattainable. Simply put: it just shouldn’t matter all that much. 

Image via Life & Style Mag

Would You Sport Blinged-Out Wearable Tech For Women?

In recent nifty gadget news, tech industries are releasing more and more products marketed towards women. Unsurprisingly, these new toys are mainly health and fitness trackers designed to be prettier and thus more appealing.

Here’s where that aggravates us: First off, making your new fitness trackers look pretty for women because you think a couple of crystals will win us over is dumb. Utility products should  be about utility, not how much you can bling something out. But secondly, isn’t it a little ridiculous to target women specifically with new health and fitness products? The assumption being: Tech gadgets will only sell to women if they are under the fitness category and generally shiny-looking.

It’s a little disappointing to us that consumerism in tech (albeit like consumerism in a lot of other industries) feeds on the assumption that women only engage with new things if they contribute to the diet and exercise industrial complex. Or if they, y’know, look girlie.

Fortunately, another new tech product designed towards women has a very practical use—and look to match. Muse, invented by co-founder of Interaxon Ariel Garter, is a headband created to help people master their inner critic. Says Garter: “One of the big issues that we have as women is wanting to do everything and be perfectionists... There’s this little voice inside our heads that says, ‘Oh, you should have done better.’

With Muse, what you learn to do is shut down that voice: You can take your brain somewhere else and have—sometimes for the first time—dominion over your own brain.” This gadget, which operates “like a heart-rate monitor for your mind,” may prove to be a big help for everyone. Here is a short video for the product:

 

A product that focuses on non-chemical self care and emotional well being while training our brains to be smarter? We say hell yes to that (if we can afford it, that is). Products like Muse actively contribute to thinking in healthier, more positive ways about our lives, our bodies, and ourselves. We hope to see more products like that—blingy or plainly useful.

Image via CNN

This Size 22 Model Just Made History

Meet Tess Munster, a fashion model who is breaking up the beauty standards of the modern world. The 29 year-old just got a contract with UK modeling agency Milk Management. Standing at 5 feet 5 inches and wearing a size 22, this gorgeous lady is the first of her height and size to model for a major agency. 

Munster's success in the fashion world has not come easily to her. She grew up being bullied and picked on because of her size, told that she wouldn't be able to make it. “It doesn’t feel like it’s me," she said. "Every time I have a big thing happen in my career, it’s an out of body experience. I’m always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn’t good enough.” 

Years later, she can say she definitely is—and she's encouraging others to realize their  potential through the body positivity movement #EffYourBeautyStandards. It's gained a ton of traction, with 79 thousand followers on Instagram. The official page is full of inspirational images and quotes from women and for women, encouraging them to live out their lives and seek out joy no matter what the world thinks of their size. The movement actively challenges those who try to negate the happiness of fat people simply because they are fat. 

When she's not at a photo shoot, you can find Munster looking fab doing so alongside her beardy partner and an adorable little boy. 

Oof! One family. ALL the cuteness. 

4 weeks ago, Munster posted this photo of herself, with a fantastic message to supporters, haters, and everyone in between:

"I hope this makes you realize that it's okay to be yourself, even if you happen to exist in a fat body. I'm sexy, confident & give no fucks. Also, fuck anyone for saying otherwise."

We are totally falling for this fierce, amazing woman and her beautiful message (and family... and tattoos... and, y'know, everything). Be sure to brighten your day by checking her out on Instagram.

Photos via Instagram and Milk Management

Joni Mitchell Stars In Yves Saint Laurent's Music Project

As if this week wasn't awesome enough when Joan Didion appeared in the latest Céline ads, now we've got yet another timeless beauty and talented woman being featured as the face of a top tier fashion brand. Joni Mitchell—along with artists like Courtney Love, Marianne Faithfull, Kim Gordon, Marilyn Manson, and more—showed up in Yves Saint Laurent's newest campaign, and at first glance this pairing couldn't be more perfect. 

According to the fashion house's Twitter account, the singer was photographed in her California home wearing a bespoke cape by YSL's creative director (fabricated, of course, especially for Joni). For now, all we're getting is a peek at the shoot, but if you're itching to see the more don't miss this month's issue of V magazine, where the rest of the images will be released.

If the first 10 days of 2015 are any indication of the way media and advertisers are warming up to more inclusive beauty ideals, then it's going to be a pretty stellar year in that department. Bring it on!


Image c/o YSL Twitter

 

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