Students Weigh In On the Definition of Masculinity
May 8, 2017
A common stereotype for a man would likely be the image of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast; an ultra-macho, weapon-brandishing fighting machine. However, it’s not every day you meet a man brave enough to face the world with a full face of makeup like James Charles.
The changing ways of the progressive world are slowly but surely becoming more apparent. The gender pay gap has been sealed, gay marriage has been legalized across the nation and now, another new door has opened which has beat down the confining walls of male gender roles and masculinity standards. Charles has been introduced as the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl makeup. Students like junior Peter Contreras share his opinion on the introduction of the first male CoverGirl.
“For [James Charles] to be the first man on CoverGirl — that’s really brave,” Contreras said. “You’re gonna face a lot of judgment.”
There are now high hopes that the young boys of this generation and to come will not feel the pressure of near impossible standards of masculinity and what it means to be a man. Senior Ethan Redding has already felt the change in standards himself and is likely ready to hand it down to the next generation.
“The lengths someone has to go to to be considered masculine have decreased,” Redding said. “I feel like the change in masculinity is definitely breaking down gender roles. I’m confident. I don’t need to prove my masculinity.”
In many ways, this action has been seen by many as a nearly historic step in the breaking down of societal standards of masculinity. For as long as makeup has taken a hold in American society, it has been primarily known as a product and an ideal of femininity. Models like Charles are working to redefine it simply as a medium of self-expression and beauty accessible by all.
It seems we now have our own definitions of what it means to be a man, more often built off integrity and loyalty away from the more shallow physical standards.
“Doing everything you can to accomplish your goal — that makes you a real man because you’re brave,” Contreras said. “[It] doesn’t matter if you’re physically strong. You have to be mentally strong.”
Business Insider’s study shows girls benefitting from this change as well. More and more often they are becoming leaders and taking charge wherever they go. While women now make up half the workforce, it remains that statistically there are fewer of them
“I think it’s progressive mostly to women,” Contreras said. “Now, if they really want to be the head of the household and stuff like that, they can.”
In order to keep the change growing and reserve the path for future progress on other social issues, it’s best to understand where this change seems to be coming from. It possibly stands as a byproduct of the progressive age of openly transgender celebrities and nationwide legalization of gay marriage.
“I think the way the world is changing, the idea of masculinity is becoming obsolete,” Redding said. “The world is living in a progressive state.”