One company started marketing “makeup for men” and people are freaking out – but it’s not who you might think.
Although the brand War Paint has been out for months, the UK company’s male makeup line went viral with a video tweet on May 8.
Now, to most people, the objectionable part is simply a man wearing make up. But to the woke left on Twitter and their chroniclers in the media, the problem is War Paint’s toxic masculinity, male insecurity, cultural appropriation, and lack of inclusive shades.
Newsweek led the charge with the headline “War Paint Makeup For Men Latest in Violent Branding Targeting Male Insecurity.” Author Andrew Whalen began, “A new makeup brand is targeting men with skulls, tattoos, muscles and the violence inherent in its name: War Paint.”
Saying, “the overt focus on violence as a staple of masculinity is a more notable innovation,” Whalen drew a juxtaposition between that and War Paint’s efforts to be environmentally conscious.
War Paint has also emphasized its vegan and cruelty-free manufacturing... Which may be the strangest two-step accompanying hyper-masculine, violent branding: a call to battle paired with moral purity. Your rage is just; your anger is pure—finally, a product for men.
Also picking up on the theme of male insecurity was Quartzy which said, “the combative, macho man advertising was pandering squarely to male insecurities about using beauty products.” They knocked War Paint for “playing on a particular brand of male insecurity to sell its products” that’s “striking many as a tone that’s out of step with the times.”
Speaking of tone, The Mary Sue threw shade on the company’s limited number of skin tones: “War Paint ‘Makeup for Men’ Brand Is Sexist, Silly, and Only Has Five Foundation Shades.” They also had a problem with the expression of masculinity, calling the “hyper-gendered way of approaching something as inclusive as makeup” “annoying” and complaining that it’s “based on a narrow view of how men should act.”
Yahoo! reported that some critics say War Paint “perpetuates ‘toxic masculinity’” and “is unnecessarily violent and culturally appropriative.” Yup, had to know we’d get some cultural appropriation lectures.
Allure’s Marci Robin, who went to Florida State University, home of the "Seminoles," carped, “I just feel like it's very uncool to turn marginalized people into mascots,” before using the segue “speaking of the insensitive misuse of war paint” to start talking about the men’s makeup brand War Paint. Wondering about the genesis of the name, Robin went on:
I'm guessing they probably just thought it sounded macho, a quality they might have misguidedly believed was required to make makeup appealing to men. And I'm also guessing that they're ignorant of the expression's etymology and didn't consider that the term and concept of war paint have historically been associated almost exclusively with ancient Native Americans, because if they did consider that and decided to go with War Paint anyway, that just makes it even worse.
Noting the non-animal cruelty policies, Robin concluded, “I can only hope those displays of empathy and awareness can eventually cross over into its marketing materials.”
Sigh. Only Social Justice Warriors would complain that a male makeup line is not woke enough.