Beautiful, like a man

With more than 3.4 million followers on Trell, this 24-year old Chennai-based beauty content creator on Trell produces 3-minute vertical videos in the Tamil language about make-up tips and hacks that are completely gender-neutral.

As a make-up enthusiast, he is keen to see more men being open about using make-up and skincare products confidently. Traditionally, men have contributed to a small percentage in the global beauty industry valued at around $532 billion. But he feels that rising awareness on skincare is dissolving this parity between the male and female shoppers in the beauty industry.

Stressing that the newer generation has brought self-care into the mainstream and that the concept of self-love and self-care are now widely accepted, compared to how it was a couple of years ago, he tells IANS, “With time, self-care has also become gender-inclusive. Earlier, men wearing make-up or using beauty products was unheard of since men were expected to fit societal stereotypes of masculinity. This is not necessarily the case now.”

He also adds that the growth of social media in the last few years has allowed male content creators to share their creative expression with large communities which have been instrumental in helping break down age-old stereotypes of make-up and beauty being a “girls-only” industry.

“I would say the trend has picked up in the past 4 to 5 years, but it has become very prominent in the last 2-3 years. The pandemic has surely accelerated self-care,” he says.

Peterson who has a degree in fashion smiles that he has always “loved” being in front of the camera and been passionate about makeup and skincare. “Content creation has allowed me to pursue my love for camera and make-up, and build a career out of it. After completing my studies, I started posting content on social media on makeup hacks. When it comes to beauty, there are a lot of things that go hand-in-hand for both men and women. Hence, I try my best to create content that shares gender-neutral tips and tricks which benefit everyone. Over time, my work gained popularity and I have been able to build a huge community.”

Agreeing that unlike men in major metros, most in small-town India may not be very comfortable talking about skincare etc, he attributes the same to lack of exposure. “Yes, the latter is most likely to say — ‘We are men. We don’t need to do all this, it’s only for women’.”

Talk to him about how he decided to make content in Tamil, and he says there are a huge number of people interested in the type of content he creates but faces a language barrier. “This is something Trell has been able to address, as it encourages creators to share content across regional languages. I personally believe that I have bridged that gap by creating content that speaks to all audiences now.”

Ask him for some skin care tips, and he is happy to oblige, saying that sunscreen and lip balm are two important elements most men tend to ignore. “Sunscreen is absolutely a must-use. The results might not be evident immediately, but with age, you’ll realize how wearing sunscreen every day helps your skin age gracefully. A lip balm is extremely important as well. I have observed that a lot of men avoid it because they assume it is for women. Keeping your lips moisturized is as important as keeping your skin moisturized. And yes, you have to be consistent in order to see the best results.”

Peterson’s family and friends are quite comfortable with the kind of content he creates. “I am lucky that people around me have always been supportive.”

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