Wearing makeup: Some guys say, ‘Why not?’

Hanna Cavicchioli shares an interview, research, and her own view regarding boys and makeup.



In the past, when males wore makeup, it often meant that they were “drag queens.” Some of these boys and men sported overdrawn lips and eyebrows, heavily contoured faces, and eyeshadow extending to their foreheads — enough makeup to make them look ridiculous.  For other boys and men, especially those in show business, makeup has been a way to cover flaws.

On the contrary, boys today wear makeup in a much more realistic way. Boys wearing makeup – just as any girl would — is something we should celebrate. Many people tend to get offended and discriminate against boys who wear makeup.  However, the recent acceptance of boys wearing makeup in our society is beautiful. Last year, Teen Vogue explored the trend in an article, pointing out, “In bathrooms across the country, boys are also finding their beauty rituals, and in 2017, it’s become a bit more colorful: A hint of brow pencil or color corrector isn’t just commonplace but cool.” (David Yi, Feb. 22, 2017, “Why Boys Wearing Makeup is More Than a Trend”).

I recently interviewed Gio Battaglia, an eleventh-grader here at who openly wears makeup and has done so for a while.  Like many boys, Gio says he loves makeup as much as any girl could.  He says that it’s all about self-expression and about making himself feel happy.

When asked if he ever faced the discrimination many boys who wear makeup endure, he said, “Never in person have I ever been like turned away or stared at.”  However, he says, “Online, people have asked me, ‘Are you a girl?’ or ‘Do you want to be a girl because you wear makeup?’” Gio called these uneducated questions.  We have all seen that when people are online, they can hide behind a screen.  Making rude comments is easier to do online than in person.

Happily, people have grown to be more tolerant with boys and makeup.  Teen Vogue also reported that one-third of Americans are indifferent to guys in makeup, according to the polling firm YouGov. Gio commented, “I think it’s definitely gotten better…the acceptance of boys wearing makeup.  It’s still kind of a new concept…more people are coming out with it and getting recognized for it.  He adds, “ I read the comments on famous men who wear makeup, and it’s all love.”  Gio says he sees “very few hate [comments].”

Gio argues that that people who feel uneasy about men wearing makeup are not necessarily affiliated with a political party; instead, these are “people who are less accepting of people who are different from them.” Some have yet to realize that boys wearing makeup IS normal and it’s nothing that anyone should find offensive.

Gio gave some final words of advice to boys who want to wear makeup:  “My advice would be, until you feel comfortable doing it, don’t.  The worst feeling in the world is going to school or wherever you’re going with a full face of makeup on and being terrified that someone is going to come up to you and be like, ‘Get out’ or, ‘You shouldn’t be doing that.’”