Battle of the Sexes: Should straight men wear cosmetics?

Wendi Writes:

The only reason a straight man should wear cosmetics is if he suffers from vitiligo or any other medical reason that would affect how he feels about his looks, and even then my choices for them are limited, otherwise… IT’S MY JOB TO LEAVE FOUNDATION ON A MAN’S SHIRT, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND!!

Just to be clear, I have no problem with men using lotions and moisturisers to keep their skin conditioned – there’s nothing nice about dry skin on any sex.  By cosmetics I’m referring to actual make-up.  Nowadays there are so many straight guys wearing eyeliner and I don’t understand it.  Fair enough it highlights their eyes a little, but why should a man care about that?  A man shouldn’t want to look pretty.  Again – that’s my job!  I can completely understand when celebrity males have to wear make-up for television appearances, by all means, but it doesn’t need to extend further than that.

While browsing the worldwide web I came across this very topic on a forum, and the comments were quite interesting.  It was mostly males commenting (a lot of whom felt the need to confirm that they weren’t gay) and some were saying that they wear either foundation, concealer or tinted moisturiser to disguise the marks and scars left by acne and acne related spots.  Now… I understand that men can feel crap about the condition of their skin as much as women can, but I don’t think they need to go as far as wearing foundation.  Tinted moisturiser I can handle… I think.  But sometimes I can be a bit of an old school traditionalist ( if yer like), and I think that men should be men and just look past these things and see them as the battle scars in the war of life!  Ok… sounds a bit silly, but you understand what I mean right? Leave being pretty to the ladies.

We live in an age where new words and names are being invented to keep up with the ever changing times.  One of these words is ‘Metrosexual’, which basically describes a man who likes to take care of his appearance – a trait usually associated with homosexuals, but in this case it is a way of saying: “I care about the way I look, but I’m not gay.”  Personally I think it’s silly for people to suggest that if, as a man, you keep yourself neat, then it means you fancy other men, but hey.  I like a man to look after himself by bathing every day, keeping his hair in a neat style, shaving or neatening his moustache, beard or goatee regularly (I’ve realised I am a sucker for facial hair), wearing clean and stylish clothing, and believe it or not – I wouldn’t even mind a man having a  manicure, because long dirty fingernails are a complete turn-off.  Is all that not enough for a man to be getting on with to make him comfortable with his appearance??

Pete Wentz

Lanrizzle writes:

I take pride in my appearance.  I probably take more time in the bathroom than I should.  I don’t leave the house without applying a layer of cocoa butter and I brush my hair, despite it rarely ever being longer than 0.1 of an inch.  Hell, I’ve even had a few dalliances with texturizer in my time.  Excessive?  Not really.  Believe it or not, some of us guys like to take pride in our appearance.  Sometimes there’s a lot of thought that goes into that designer stubble, or those perfectly locked-in waves (obtained through that wave cap). However, there are some things that I can’t, I mean CAN’T understand – guys wearing make-up.  I guess in the cold light of day and the harsh glare of the world, makeup is primarily a female territory. Your average guy wearing makeup has the same connotations as a guy wearing a dress. Er… bruv, what are you doing?

Don’t get me wrong, there are the exceptions to the makeup thing.  The obvious ones like MJ (RIP), Prince, Goths (even though they scare the hell out of me), Krumpers in clown make-up. Basically, if you are getting ready to perform on stage, go ahead. Knock yourself out. Go crazy with that guy-liner and man-scara.

Prince... and his 'guy-liner'

Maverick, 24 from South London says, “There are only a few guys who can cross that line. The David Bowie line. In order [for a straight guy] to wear make-up, you need to exude a certain confidence. You can’t fake crossing that line”.

I guess the thing that should be asked is why, as a straight guy, would you need or want to wear make-up?  Do we really want attention so badly that the only way to do it is to go into your girl’s bathroom cabinet and take her blusher?  I guess if something becomes fashionable then there’s always going to be a justification for it, and attitudes do change.  I mean, if I’d told Marvin from JLS 10 years ago that he’d be wearing his mother’s low neck t-shirts and pixie boots onstage in front of millions of screaming fans, he probably would have laughed in my face (not at the screaming fans bit; the women’s t-shirt thing – stay focused).

I’m not against fashion and progression – far from it.  In fact, I even embrace it.  But I think there are some things that need to stay separate between the two sexes, and an androgynous society is surely not the way forward.  There was a brief (and I mean brief) period in the 80s where guys and girls looked very similar.  I can’t begin to imagine the confusion, but suffice to say that moment in time was fleeting and people began to realise that there are some things that guys shouldn’t do.

Let’s face facts – straight guys are looking for women, and the majority of women aren’t looking for a guy who spends more time in the mirror than they do.  So let’s all just agree that for the time being.  Guys – have a shave, use some moisturiser, spray some aftershave… But if you feel yourself slowly gravitating towards that MAC shop, have a quick word with yourself and leave the foundation to the females.

If you’d like to hear more of what Lanrizzle has to say, follow his blog at

7 comments on “Battle of the Sexes: Should straight men wear cosmetics?

  1. Mmmm…i sit on the fence on this issue, dont get me wrong, if i came home and Adam was wearing my foundation i would be horrified to say the least – men should def be men! but as im a make up artist i often see guys who are really unhappy …with there skin and on photo shoots they always ask for foundation/concealer, i mean why not – live and let live afterall. However, just think of the business opportunities – afterall the cosmetics industry is one of the most profitable in the world, a range of make up for guys! well … i reckon there def is a market. Really enjoyed the blog Wendi, great writing huni xx

  2. Think of it this way. What if men started saying… hmm I don’t know if women should be carpenters… or judges … or have the right to vote. Anytime you ask yourself if a man “should” do something rather than it just being your particular preference, you are forgetting how women were and sometimes are treated.

    If you care for it or don’t… that’s one thing. However no one has the right to declare if men “should or should not”, nor that it’s “not being a man” to do so.

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