Gender is a societal construct period. Unfortunately, gender identity and beauty have a harmful symbiotic relationship. Traditional gender norms have embedded in our minds what it means to be masculine and feminine.
From a young age, we are conditioned to intersperse our masculine or feminine self with colours, fragrances and toys – girls get pink baby shampoos, and boys get blue. Post puberty pink razors for women and blue trimmers for men, woody notes in deodorants for men and floral scents for women. These branding clichés are much more than just that. They psychologically escalate to personal preferences and develop into habits as we grow up. These gender tropes influence our societal interactions but, more importantly, our own identity. The key is to understand yourself, your skin, your beauty needs as you cut out the Pour Femme and Pour Homme marketing noise. Skin is Skin.
Consume Beyond Gender
Everyday sexism is prevalent stereotypically while shopping for beauty products as women’s powder pink, eggshell and nude bottles are juxtapositioned with blues and darker monotones for men’s grooming. Levying the ‘Pink Tax’ where women’s products are relatively more expensive than men’s, continues to feed into the tired trope.
What’s key to comprehend is that the marketing rubrics of grooming, make-up or skincare are just synonyms. It doesn’t matter how the products are labelled. The basics of nourishing and beautifying your skin are the same. Make-up and skincare are finally embracing the future and going beyond ‘for her’ and ‘for him’ to a neutral space. As Rihanna says, “The only different thing is the packaging.”
Genderless Skin Care
If internalisation of societal gender roles inhibits you from using his deodorant or her lipstick, genderless skincare might just be for you. It’s time to ditch traditional gender norms embedded in beauty and embrace whatever suits your skin best. Even though it’s all about marketing techniques, genderless nevertheless sounds inclusive to all. But what really is genderless skincare? Is there a difference between a man and a woman’s moisturiser, exfoliator, or serum? Not really.
Stocked with the same formulas, genderless beauty isn’t rocket science – its merely about inclusivity. The rise of this genderless movement is crucial, though, as the world is embracing conversations around identifying a person based on their pronouns, i.e. he/she/they/them instead of their physical appearance. Genderless beauty is booming with the times – rightly so.
Rihanna’s Fenty Skin is a step into what will be the future with toners, cleansers and sunscreens sans gender clickbait. Aēsop, an American brand, has a range of hair, skin and more for consumers who are looking to replace pink and blue bottles with their neutral brown and black ones. Skincare should be differentiated on factors such as skin type, skin concerns, skin texture–not age and gender. Remember, beauty is for everyone!