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: http://www.allure.com/story/chokers-for-men-controversy. 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: http://www.glamour.com/story/manny-gutierrez-maybelline-campaign. Last accessed 8th Jan 2017.