6000 years. That’s a long time. That’s how long the human race has been applying makeup. From the Ancient Egyptians to the Ancient Romans and Greeks, facial makeup was a staple part of everyday life in their culture. It was something both sexes wore although it fell out of favour with males around 100 years ago when standards of hygiene and health began to improve. Today, when you think of makeup you typically think of ladies wearing lipstick or eye makeup, something that accentuates their features. It makes eyes look larger and more youthful and it gives lips a fuller, healthier appearance – attributes that make women more sexually attractive; important in the evolutionary mating game.
In years gone by, makeup was more than just part of your look, it was commonly used to cover up sores, pock marks and other lesions prevalent in societies where disease and malnutrition were rife. Concealer was the order of the day.
Now makeup for men is making a comeback. Yes, men can now be even more metrosexual in public. We were sneered at in the noughties for wanting to apply moisturiser but now it’s a huge industry and many women find men who look after themselves more appealing. Around 60 years ago it was considered to be unmanly for guys to wear deodorant or to use shampoo and conditioner. But is the latest step in men’s beauty, a step too far? Brace yourself – its manscara and guyliner, eye makeup for dudes!
Certain guys already wear eyeliner and most of these are performers in the entertainment industry. Makeup helps with facial definition when performing a gig under a bright light show – important when the crowds want to see your face clearly on the big screens. But is it also a gay thing? Judging by the gents that wear it, I would have to say yes.
As an outspoken critic of California’s Proposition 8, and main lyricist of Fall Out Boy, Pete has his line of men’s eyeliner but has recently confessed to giving up wearing it himself saying that ‘it became too expected. I like the way my eyes look now. I felt I looked too injured and tired and like I’d been punched. Now I look awake.’ It’s true that it seems to suit some men more than others.
Here’s a guy who can pull off the look. Lance has been involved with several charities and in 2003 he donated $30K US that helped establish the Amber Pulliam Special Education Endowment to help students who wish to become involved with children with special educational needs.
At 19, he became the youngest person ever to have his likeness preserved in wax at Berlin’s Madame Tussauds. Another coup came in 2008 when Spanish magazine ¡Hola!, named him as ‘most attractive singer on stage’. In December that year, MTV gave him the distinction of ‘Man of the Year’. His youthful looks and crazy hair have made him a pin-up of gay men and straight ladies.
Billie Joe Armstrong
A confirmed bisexual, the Green Day singer has a vulnerable look which he makes work for him. It’s no wonder that in this age of films and television series charting the ‘lives’ of vampires that this look is becoming more popular.
‘Alex’ by Sarah Schindehette
The fashion world, too, is not averse to controversy and re-introducing themes from the past. With ‘Alex’ a four thousand year old look has been revived and it’s Cleopatra’s ‘cat’s eyes’ made famous in popular art of the period.
Demonstrating that you don’t have to be gay to get away with wearing guyliner, here’s a pic of the gorgeous Johnny Depp. So where does that leave us? Perhaps we should accept that guys should start wearing makeup if it suits them, after all we’ve been doing it for millennia anyway.
Guest blogger, Greg Coltman, is off to get the blusher on and perhaps a bit of rouge. Well at least till the wife comes home anyway.