In any case. Wearing makeup as a man is political. On the one hand, that’s good, because it opens up a field of conversation. On the other hand, one has to say: how unnecessary. It’s just makeup that gets washed off at the end of the day.
Music icons like David Bowie and Mick Jagger already wore make-up on stage more than 50 years ago and even today stars like Harry Styles or Damiano David, frontman of the Italian rock band “Måneskin”, wear nail polish, kajal and eyeshadow. When is it socially acceptable for men to wear makeup and when not?
In a way, these examples are again artificial figures, they have a special status and are not part of our everyday life. We put them on pedestals. Apart from buying a record from them, singing along to a song on the radio or going to a concert, you don’t really have a personal connection to them. But if you see a man wearing make-up while shopping, you suddenly have a completely different image of masculinity in your own reality. This then leads to irritation. Still, I see overlaps. The more people show themselves as they are, whether on stage or in everyday life, the more brands, such as “Manhattan”, work with people who deviate from the still heteronormative norm, the faster something will happen in society as a whole.
It sounds like you’re cautiously optimistic that things will change for marginalized groups in the long run.
I always find it too easy to point the finger at individual brands and say you don’t care about diversity and inclusion. It’s an entire industry that’s going wrong and yet there are brands that live change all year round and not just at Pride Month when purely economic interests are behind it. I think you have to focus on the positive changes and acknowledge how far we’ve come.
Do you remember your early days with makeup?
I was doing some modeling back when I was 14 and I still remember how good I felt when I had my makeup done on set. A little later I got acne and discovered the concealer stick for myself, which of course made everything worse. At some point the pencil, which I converted into an eyebrow pencil, was added.
Why didn’t you use a real eyebrow pencil?
Because buying make-up wasn’t possible. I would never have dared to do that. And I can already see a change from before. Back then, if I had seen someone like me at the hotspot counter of a brand like Manhattan wearing concealer and nail polish, the hassle of buying myself an eyebrow pencil might not have been so great.
Today you are one of the few male creators who are successful in the German beauty industry. How strong is the support, how strong is the headwind?
My followers on Youtube and Instagram are my family and friends, so I rarely get any negative comments there. TikTok is already a different body of water because the algorithm decides very arbitrarily who gets which content. This is how I reach people far outside my target group. Although I don’t see sayings like “Haha, are you gay” that much as hate. yes i am gay And?