Wednesday Jul 6, 2022
Wednesday Jul 6, 2022

Is Make-up just for women?

Nepali male make-up enthusiasts breaking stereotypes.

2021 Aug 23, 11:57, Kathmandu
Photo: Anish Tamang's Instagram

While globally numerous men are doing make-up and breaking the stereotype, it still comes with a tag of being too feminine. Many Nepalese men are also taking part in this change.
“Make-up for me, is a very vast form of art. It has no gender, race, colour or orientation”, says Anish Tamang, a self-taught make-up artist, and an influencer.
 There is a strong belief in society that make-up is only for women. Men are expected to be masculine all the time and are often ridiculed for doing things that are ‘feminine’ and make-up falls under it. Even though actors and male models use make-up all the time, people are not ready to accept it in real life.  
Tamang was always supported and encouraged by his friends and family in his journey of becoming a make-up artist. “I used to do my own make-up when I was modelling in 2013. My interest in it grew stronger during that time”, says Tamang.
However, this sadly was not the case with society. “Being a man and doing make-up is a challenge in itself in our society”, he says. “I used to receive a lot of hatred and criticism online whenever I posted my make-up looks on social media just because I was doing so-called feminine things like putting lipstick or eyeliner”, Tamang adds.

Photo: Anish Tamang's Instagram
Photo: Anish Tamang's Instagram

 Eighteen-year-old Sumit Raut started doing make-up five years ago. Make-up for Raut is an escape. He shares similar stories to Tamang about bullying, harassment, and hatred from people both online and in real life. “I have received homophobic comments and have been harassed and bullied numerous amounts of times on social media”, says Raut.
While he too has had full support and encouragement from his loved ones, the amount of hatred he received online as a male make-up enthusiast affected his mental health a lot.
There is a lot of positivity and acceptance is also present online, and the number of supporters for men doing make-up is gradually going up virtually. Society still is not ready to accept men in make-up in day-to-day life. And the harsh truth is that people are very quick to judge a man wearing make-up.
 “Whenever I go out wearing make-up, I suddenly become the centre of attention and not the good kind.”, Tamang says.
“I have heard people whisper homophobic insults behind my back in public spaces”, says Raut.
 There is a serious misconception people have about men doing make-up and how heterosexual men don’t do make-up. But there is no relationship between liking make-up and one’s sexual orientation. Make-up is a form of expression and people are interested in it regardless of their age, colour, gender or sexual orientation just like any other art form.
 Due to misunderstandings like these, brands have come up with #mensmakeup. But Raut expresses his disagreement and points out how fragile masculinity is. “Using make-up once it has the term ‘men’ in front of it only shows one’s fragile masculinity”, he says.

Photo: Sumit Raut
Photo: Sumit Raut

 Tamang believes that complete acceptance cannot be achieved with the generation gap of the society at present. “We cannot expect all elders to unlearn what they were taught throughout their life. It is our responsibility to not take this misconception into future generations”, he says. “Our responsibility is to educate people on it. To understand or not, is their choice and we cannot do anything about it”, says Raut.
 “People always find something negative to talk about you. So, don’t let them decide what you do”, says Tamang. “There will always be people who support you. Keep your focus on your supporters and keep growing”, he adds. Raut agrees with these statements and goes on to say, “You don’t need to make everyone happy. At the end of the day, you’re the one who matters most so always do what your heart wants no matter how many haters there are”.

Photo: Sumit Raut
Photo: Sumit Raut


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