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For years I thought make up for men stopped at drag queens you might see in some of the more exciting parts of the city. That’s all different now./ Picture source: Pinterest

The Freedom Correspondent: Men and make-up

I am obsessed with make-up.

Why you might ask? Because it makes me feel sexy, confident and ready to conquer the world.

I started experimenting with make-up when I was around 15 years old. It was the time when I hit puberty and started feeling anxious about my appearance.

As you can probably imagine, teenage acne and breakouts seriously knocked my confidence, so I turned to make-up in the hope of finding a little help. I wasn’t disappointed by the results, especially after I became more experienced. It’s not going too far to say cosmetics have changed my life.

Although, I no longer have problematic skin, I continue to wear make-up because of the way it transforms how I look and feel and because I can see the power of it.

I must admit, for the biggest part of my life, I thought make-up was something for women. Coming from a conservative background, the thought of someone with a beard putting on foundation would make me, well, cringe a little.

For years I thought make-up for men stopped at drag queens you might see in some of the more exciting parts of the city. That’s all different now.

Moving to London a few years ago, I was quick to learn that it’s no longer just women dabbing on a bit of bronzer before heading out of their house, many modern men also have their reasons for wanting to wear make-up.

It’s also no longer the preserve of gay men, in part because as well as becoming a powerful tool of self-expression it helps people feel more comfortable.

Now, I become extremely irritated seeing how many people are shaming and bluntly hating on men for wearing make-up. As a huge make-up fanatic and perhaps a little more switched-on to this than most, I don’t really don’t think it’s a big thing anymore.

For example, I follow people on social media who use their skills to show what is possible with make-up. They are experimenters, visionaries and artists and this includes men. To me, as someone interested in make-up it’s not a problem that they are men, I just see them as talented individuals I can learn from.

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I have now come to see how much scrutiny they are put under, and how brave they are to be following their passion. These people follow their hearts and do what they love, without worrying about the reactions they will get from others.

It’s not all about men wanting to be feminine. People simply want to look good.

Let’s make it clear- I am not saying everyone should have to wear make-up, just those who want or need it to help them feeling comfortable in their own skin. That’s something everyone deserves.

Still in many countries male make-up is taboo. Many men have no idea how to apply make up products or where to go to get some help. Let alone to be able to admit it openly.

Men are mortified to approach beauty counters for the fear of being teased or laughed at.

This needs to change…

Men wearing make-up should not be a problem as we are all just trying to express ourselves. Everybody has the freedom to express themselves the way that they want to, and to shame somebody for doing what they love is not right.

Sexism usually hurts women, but it can hurt men too. Men can become anxious about their body image and most indicators suggest this is on the rise.

It’s time both sexes have equal access to make-up. I honestly believe it can change your life. If it enables you to put your best face forward, why not to use it? No-one should feel pressure to present themselves in a certain way but we should instead focus on making ourselves proud and empowered.

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