My experience as a man in the beauty community

Here we are with another post I was scared to post and has been in my drafts for months!! (Literally, since October of 2018.) Let’s try to not make this a habit, yeah?

Okay, hi guys. Before we get into anything, I want to say this: some things I’m going to talk about have potential to be controversial, but I am coming from a place of love and seeking only understanding. I will try and be as candid as possible. So… don’t come for me. Thanks.

Let’s be real. Society isn’t so quick to accept males in a female-dominated industry. (Same rule goes for women in male-dominated industries, but that’s not today’s topic). Men who wash their faces? Gay! Men who regularly upkeep? Too feminine! Men who wear makeup? Gross! In this post, you’ll get to hear about my experience as a man in the beauty + skincare community/industry.

My skincare kick really started when I became a Glossier rep back in March of 2016. A friend of mine joined the team and soon after, I did as well. Previous to Glossier, I didn’t really have much of a skincare routine. The interest was always there, but the process of finding a routine was intimidating. So I just kinda used whatever – and by that I mean literally, just hot water and a towel. Yikes.

Once I started using more products and developing more of a routine, naturally, I started posting about it more. It became a bigger topic with my friends, on my blog, and my Instagram. I started to grow a passion for skincare (+ self care) as a whole. People seemed intrigued and it turned into something that was really fun and special to share.

As it became a bigger topic for me, I started trying lots of new products, figuring out what worked for me and what didn’t. I got the urge to share my finds with you guys! And it felt good. The bigger the community grew, the more I was getting reached out to from brands for skincare. I got sent a handful of things which is really helpful since 1) skincare is really expensive and 2) I was able to share my thoughts with y’all.

With skincare being a bigger focus, the natural next step was a curiosity with makeup. Everyone I knew that was into skincare also had a strong interest in makeup as well. I was really hesitant and it took a bit for me to act on my thoughts – I was worried what people would think (still kinda am). But as I tend to do, I pushed past it. First a brow product, then concealer, then highlighter. The rest would follow. It’s fun! Like using your face as a canvas. You can create whatever you want, and it has the ability to make you feel more confident. It’s beautiful! It’s art. And at the end of the day, art in it’s purest form is my passion.

Makeup on guys can be a bit of a taboo subject. To some, it’s not a big deal. To others, it’s a spark for bullying/homophobia/verbal abuse. Over the past couple years, we’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of male beauty influencers in the community that have changed the game and normalized men in makeup quite a bit. Even still, it’s not widely accepted.

There are definitely times when I feel this pressure when I wear certain products. And I know what you may be thinking – “Cody, fuck what everyone else thinks. Do YOU.” And… you’re right. I know I shouldn’t let outside opinions/perceptions discourage me from doing the things I want to do. But sometimes, it’s hard!

So, to catch you up: I’m a dude who who’s invested in his skincare and sometimes wears makeup. And who sometimes can be discouraged by negative thoughts/opinions of others. But ultimately wants to share things he’s into on the internet/in general. Let’s continue.

While I have been lucky enough to receive PR (press releases) from some brands, I have noticed I am left out of others. Which makes me sad and can feel a bit isolating. While this is a touchy subject, I am and remain grateful for the opportunities I have received/continue to. And I swear to y’all, I’m not trying to come from a place of complaint. But it’s hard to look away when I see my friends receiving PR from brands that refuse/look over me. With the same size community (sometimes even smaller) than I do.

I’ve given this a lot of thought and what I’ll say is this: my Instagram and blog are not dedicated entirely to skincare. I am aware. But when I am blatantly overlooked time and time again, it’s hurtful. An example I can use is Urban Outfitter’s Beauty. It was the first time I had EVER received cosmetics in PR. I was so freaking excited and nervous. I did a long Instagram story with the products –  and immediately following the unboxing videos, I was removed from the PR list. It was a huge shot to my confidence in the community. I watched and continue to see 5+ people I follow receive these products with future releases and I’ve just gotta wonder why I was removed. And at the end of the day, there could be a number of reasons. I still do believe though, that it’s because I’m a man in a female-dominated space. It’s possible that many women don’t take my suggestions as naturally as they would another woman. In my experience, I’ve felt this lots of times. To some level, I understand this. But I still have to wonder, why? Why is it such a challenge to remove gender from a community that doesn’t need the judgement? Ugh. Ya boy is out here feeling pretty unseen and not valued. It’s not fun, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. There’s something to be said about any person in the community that is LGBTQ+/POC.

Next topic is consumerism. Some of my favorite blog posts/YouTube videos are hauls/favorites. It’s something y’all have seen on my blog as well over the years. I think it’s interesting to see what people spend their money on/enjoy using. With time and thought, I’ve kinda realized how yuck this can feel. Why the abundance? I wonder how my audience feels when I post photos with hundreds of dollars worth of skincare (some gifted, but most purchased). And I don’t like it. I always want to remain in a space of gratitude and in a time like this, where social media is all a facade, it’s easy to see my photos and wish you had *~all the things~* that I do. And you don’t! Let’s keep it real. I try to always keep it 100. I have never posted a product I didn’t like.

I always want to share the shit that works for me. The stuff I am OBSESSED with. Because… y’all take my suggestions. It’s something I love and will never lose sight/take advantage of. And what’s kinda held me back from posting more skincare content recently is my fear that I could come off as showy or make anyone feel less than. Never ever ever my intention. And I do feel a responsibility to make sure y’all know – you don’t need it all. And if you knew that already, kudos to you. But some don’t – hell, I even feel like I need it all sometimes. But your worth isn’t based on what you’ve got, it’s what you’ve got in your head and how you treat other people.

In summary: men (and basically all minorities) in the beauty/skincare space deserve more recognition. You don’t need every skincare/makeup product that your favorite influencer has. Skincare isn’t “gay”. Men in makeup are brave. Give the underdog a chance. Remove judgement. Stand up for yourself.

With a more clear mind + after taking the time to think through and write this, I am excited to share it with you all. And I hope the delivery lands just the way I hoped it would. I love you very much.

Bye for now. Xoxo, Cody.

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