How The "Male Grooming Boom" Is Really Nothing New
2015-05-11by Josh Rosebrook
I remember being jealous that my mom got to wear makeup. I felt cheated that I didn’t get to apply blue eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick as an 8 year old. The desire to express myself with make up felt natural and right; socially and culturally it was not. I was forced to do what any smart young boy would do, lock the bathroom door and put on tons of make up!
Grooming is natural and part of who we are. Beautification and adornment is rooted in our evolution as a species. Beauty self care rituals are ancient and the history of cosmeceutical use does not reserve itself to women. Male grooming using cosmetics is really nothing new and men caring for their appearance has been around for eons and shows up almost every culture. Dating as far back as 10,000 BC, men’s grooming, skin and hair care was used as fragrant oils to mask body odor, henna stain for hair color and coal was used as eye liner. It was very desirable to have soft skin and natural balms were used to clean and soften skin.
Men in the eighteenth century wore makeup and cosmetics were not as gendered as they are today. Back then, men would wear makeup in order to raise their social status (and probably to feel just a little more fabulous). Painted white faces, rouge, bright red lips with darkened eyebrows to create contrast and elaborate powdered wigs expressed the art of beauty, to achieve confidence and power. Men used anti-freckle masks, cold creams and beauty ointments and these products were usually hand crafted at home. Pierre-Joseph Buc’hoz’ s The Toilet of Flora (1772) an original DIY recipe book was everything a person needed to achieve the right look. However, many of formulas utilized lead and mercury and were very toxic and caused poisoning. Sound familiar?
Cultural perception shifted and the use of cosmetics and make up by men eventually became unacceptable and regarded as feminine and not masculine.
What’s happening today with the “male grooming boom” is our culture simply returning to what is natural. Are we evolving or are we just revolving? We also live in a crowded, fast paced world that is highly competitive. Looking your absolute best through defining your personal style is key to success and it also feels good to express your individuality.
This return to what is natural is happening on many levels. Spiritually we all seek balance in our lives and more and more people are awakening to the art and practice of it. The alignment with who we are comes from an honoring and of our multidimensional, creative self which is both feminine and masculine, regardless of our genitals. At the highest level of our being, we are genderless. Be who you are, be whole, as a human and nurture your inner beauty with the glorious rituals of cosmetics and skin care.
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