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ASOS Now Sells a Masculine Makeup Line for Men Afraid to be Femme

ASOS Now Sells a Masculine Makeup Line for Men Afraid to be Femme


The fashion retailer's MMUK MAN collection wants to make guys "look their best everyday" without looking feminine, of course.

ASOS has announced they're selling makeup to men with a new, man-approved line of products from men's makeup brand MMUK MAN that includes "Manscara," "Beard & Brow Filler," and "Liquid Foundation For Men." Not sure how to get that perfect, masculine glow? No worries, the products include photos of heteronormative guys smizing and applying the makeup.

It's a proud moment for the company--as it should be, given how stifling it is for men who just want to apply some foundation without looking femme. As co-founder Alex Dalley said, "We hope that this move places make-up for men on the radars of thousands of guys out there who simply want to look their best everyday."

Related | Jaden Smith Says He's Not Wearing 'Girl's Clothes,' Just 'Clothes'

The gag, of course, is that the entire product line is built on the idea that allowing men to wear "manscara" and foundation without the risk of appearing feminine is worth celebrating--it's not. Makeup has been worn by people of all genders throughout history. Attaching a "for men" label and employing traditionally masculine models to sell the makeup is nothing noble. Sleek black packaging that has the word "MAN" featured proudly on it puts this product into the same gimmicky camp as such gems as Banana Boat Sunscreen For Men, Men's Tea, Lip Balm Engineered for Men, and "man-sized" Irish Spring Soap.

The company, MMUK MAN, seems right at home in this hypersensitive, masculine space though. On the website, their guide to concealer for men comes with the promise that, "you'll soon be working it like a pro and more importantly, getting away with it, [while]...achieving a champion complexion that won't blow your cover."

The fact that someone in the fashion industry failed to understand the intricacies of gender while trying to make money off breaking down gender stereotypes is nothing new. In the past, we've had to suffer through Zara's "ungendered" range of basics, Soulstruck's cisgender man-appeasing line of shoes, and, most recently, Vogue's horrendously misguided use of a famous cisgender couple who borrow each other's clothes to proclaim the rise of gender fluidity.

Related | Vogue, Why Don't You Put Actual Gender Fluid People on Your Cover?

The MMUK MAN makeup that ASOS is hawking will make some cis, heteronormative men feel more comfortable in their own thin skin, of course, but it comes at the cost of true progress. Clothes, accessories, and makeup are only as gendered as you allow them to be. When brands like Milk Makeup regularly feature people of all genders in their campaigns, it makes the lazy attempts to flaunt diversity look like what they are underneath the manscara--ridiculously, painfully out-of-touch.

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Chris Thomas