Thoughts On Manhood & Beauty
by Saleam Singleton
11 months ago
Being a man in the beauty community can sometimes feel like a novelty. It’s probably because we’re still having conversations as if men have never enjoyed self-care before. I hear a lot about this mythical population of men who wash their faces with body soap. This may very well be true. However, I think too much attention is given to the cliche scenarios. I find that men want to explore and play around with their sense of personal beauty. It’s something perhaps, we are only now being given the language to express. Make no mistakes, men have their concerns when it comes to the concept and construct of beauty.
On a personal level, I’ve always known the word was gendered. But why can’t a man take ownership of the word too? What is beauty anyway? To me it's self-defined, so I don’t subscribe to it being feminine. Beauty is how you feel, and how one sees themselves or others. Like all things, it’s a personal experience. The beauty industry has shown me the sense of power that comes from acts of cultivating or maintaining one’s beauty. Be it inside or out, beauty is a state of being. It's unhealthy to think it's for women only.
Why does the world of beauty matter to me, and why do I find empowerment in taking ownership of the word? I want to broaden the idea of what manhood means to me. Holding onto my masculine performance doesn’t make me feel more of a man. I get to define who I am through personal acts that I choose. That’s progression to me. This is why I have such a passion for the beauty community. It’s becoming more and more welcoming of men like myself. We get to explore ourselves and how we navigate our self-perception. Beauty is the very thing that stands up to toxic masculinity. Ultimately, its beauty that has brought me closer to being the man I want to be.