Manny Gutierrez for Maybelline Campaign/Reactions to Beauty and Fashion Male Market

I came across this ‘beauty news’ this morning whilst browsing through the new articles of Glamour online. I found it to be an interesting perspective in regard to my active research topic, particularly in relation to the power of social media in regards to influence and digital presence.

Maybelline announced its new ad campaign for its best selling “Big Shot Mascara by Colossal” with a twist – this is the first time that Maybelline has collaborated with beauty influencers, whilst also including a male influencer. To me this is a huge step forward in the world of beauty and social media relations, showing how influential platforms and influencers can be, not only influencing consumers (heavily discussed and researched in Semester 1) but now also brands to re-think their strategy and approach to a rapidly and drastically changing market, and industry. The male star, Manny Gutierrez, is more commonly known as Manny MUA (@MannyMUA733) and has almost 3 million followers on Instagram, showing a snapshot of his huge digital platform and presence, excluding his YouTube followers. By using Manny for this campaign, Maybelline are sending out a message that regardless of gender, makeup can be for you if you want it to be, reacting to the rise of male social media users, bloggers, makeup artists and makeup users. In addition, the Maybelline Campaign also features beauty influencer Shayla Mitchell (@MakeupShayla) as Manny’s female-counterpart. In the months to come I believe that we will see response continue with more major international brands jumping on the bandwagon to claim a share of this new, expanding and exciting market.

The popularity of male cosmetics and beauty regimes is something I predicted back in 2015 whilst employed with a cosmetics supplier, and slowly overtime this has become a reality. Brands over the past year have begun to include more males within their advertising campaigns and social media strategies, and furthermore have also began to include more gender-neutral product lines. I feel that this is another reaction to social media and male influencers such as Manny, whom have had a major impact on the industry through instant and increased accessibility to digital content.

I also believe that this is an indirect reaction to the growing awareness in mens fashions due to raised awareness at events such as LFW, whilst also taking into account the rise of male bloggers and male celebrity focused campaigns such as, David Beckham for H&M, allowing for males to also feel of the same identity and have a sense of connection. In addition, ASOS recently released a range of ‘mens choker necklaces’ driving the sense of equality in the fashion industry. This received extreme negative reactions online, with ‘tweets’ such as the following going viral:

“If I ever see a boy wearing a asos choker I will buy a gun and shoot myself,” user @tumber_10 wrote.

“ASOS have started selling men’s chokers,” wrote @aaronlxd. “Can already tell 2017 is gonna be a shite year.” (This tweet has more than 13,000 likes.)

“If my boyfriend wore them I’d leave him” wrote @courtneysoz.

In response to this David Yi, from Allure Magazine noted that negative response is “[promoting] the dangerous sentiment that men are supposed to adhere to hyper masculine culture. This ultimately fuels the so-called men’s rights movement, one that mitigates women’s—along with their allies’—fight toward equal rights. It allows chauvinism and homophobia to fester in small crevices and thrive across the country”, keeping gender-boundaries in-check and promoting oppressiveness of self-awareness.

By taking away these boundaries, more people are being able to become who they feel they truly are, opposed to what societies stereotyping has told them to be, which in turn is a positive reaction to self perception and awareness within social media.

This is reflected by the following examples, showing how brands are starting to become more inclusive for all. CoverGirl (an American Cosmetics brand) released a campaign with James Charles, whom became the first ‘CoverGuy’ and in addition, Giorgio Armani have recently released a lip balm titled, “Him/Her Lipcare” again taking away gender-boundaries.

Yi, D. (2017). Chokers for Men: The Internet Is Freaking Out, and Here’s Why That’s Not OK. Available: Last accessed 8th Jan 2017.
Reimel, E. (2017). Manny Gutierrez Is the First Man to Star in a Maybelline Campaign, and It’s a Huge Deal. Available: Last accessed 8th Jan 2017.


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Semester 2: Objectives, Goals and POA

The below objectives and goals have been carried over from Semester 1, and will remain the same objectives which I am going to work towards throughout Semester 2.

Due to the types of research I plan on carrying out this semester, I believe that Objective 4 will change in regards to practical work, as I feel my research will inform this, and therefore have removed any specifics to allow for a clean slate to build from post-research and analysis of all work, and research to date. After looking quite broadly last semester, by narrowing and deepening my research this semester, I hope to have a very refined and direct final outcome which is relevant and in response to my research topic.

I also aim to work on Objective 5 post-research and post-interviews/meetings with Industry Professionals in both the UK and in Japan, to assess it’s viability before being produced/designed.

I have noted below each objective/goal research methodologies which will allow for these to be achieved.

Objectives and goals:

  1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

Questionnaire allowing for 18-24 year olds to complete the survey online, regardless of location (UK/Japan). I found this to be a good way of collating quantifiable data and analysing it, after finding it hard to connect with Japanese students in Japan (lack of contact information) and having little response back from HE Institutions in the UK. By having the questionnaire online also, it is possible to gain the trust of participants whilst also gaining a larger range of responses from a larger range of people, which may of been restricted via targeting Universities, for example.

I plan to keep this open to both males and females to gain different perspectives and comparative results, taking into account feedback from Semester. In addition to this, I plan on using my time in Japan (16th-23rd January 2017) to speak with Beauty Bloggers and Vogue, in order to understand this on a cross-cultural scale.

I plan on speaking with various other professionals to gain different perspectives, i.e. models and bodybuilders, whilst also speaking with like-minded creative practitioner, Toni Hollowood from CSM about her MA, similar research and practice.

  1. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

I plan on speaking with ASOS to understand an Industry perspective on this topic, in relation to their Model Welfare Policy and Corporate/Social Responsibilities.  

I plan on speaking with Vogue in Japan, and hopefully in the UK also regarding other positive strategies which are promoted/used throughout their publications and digital content.

  1.  To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

See actions for Objective/Goal 1.

I also plan on speaking with professional international and national models, whilst speaking with beauty and/or fashion bloggers both in the UK and Japan. I have made contact already with bloggers in Japan ahead of my trip, and will now actively look for bloggers in the UK to contact also for comparable research.

  1. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of Social Media and Magazines on self-perceptions and body image.

I plan to carry out the main body of research for semester 2 prior to working on my practical work, as I believe that this semester will allow for the cross-cultural side of my research topic to be truly highlighted, and therefore visually used in context. I also feel I need to go to Japan and seek inspirations from their culture, galleries, products, advertising, etc, whilst taking into account research to date and upcoming interviews/meetings.

I do however have ideas which I would like to push and develop, however feel the key aim has to be to highlight the cross-cultural differences between the UK and Japan in relation to my research topic.

  1. To derive a National or International Policy for use within the Fashion and Beauty Industries, based on collated research, interviews and experiences throughout this project.

See actions for Objective/Goal 2.

In addition, I plan on carrying out all research prior to embarking on working soley towards this objective/goal. I have also recently been thinking critically whilst reflecting on the research/practical work done to date, that perhaps this is not the focus of my practice, but an interest which still needs to be explored and research in context. This leads me to note that, perhaps the practical-led work for this outcome should be as stated above, in Objective/Goal 4, opposed to a Policy Proposal. However, this will be discussed and considered further as my research unfolds, meetings are carried out and as interviews take place.

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Semester 2: Research to-do

Before resuming research during Semester 2, I wanted to draw up a list of research-led actions which need to be taken to answer my research question, and meet my set objectives and goals going forwards.

  • London Research Trip – UK/Japan Comparisons (products, advertising, copywriting, models, etc), Interview with International Model and Meeting with CSM MA Fashion Communication Student/Art Director (Objective 3)
  • London Research Trip 2 – Meeting with ASOS (Objective 2, 3 and 5)
  • In-depth research on culture, makeup history and beauty in Japan in comparison to the UK
  • Japan Research Trip – UK/Japan Comparisons (products, advertising, copywriting, models, etc), Meeting with Beauty Bloggers and an International Publisher to gain different perspectives on my research topic
  • Interview analysis from Semester 1 & 2 (Objective 3)
  • Questionnaire for Public completion (UK & Japan) (Objective 1A/1B)
  • Policy – viability post-research analysis/meetings/interviews
  • Alternate Perspectives
  • Journals, Articles, Books
  • Visual/practice-led research (Objective 4)
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