Here’s Why Men Trying 'Girl Products' Is Actually Hella Problematic
7 November 2016, 16:48
Please, everyone listen up.
When something becomes popular on YouTube, you'll start to see it pop up on every single channel regardless of whether it's relevant or not. Just take the 100 Layers Of Makeup challenge; within a few days, the likes of Joey Graceffa, Jenna Marbles and Riyadh K were putting gross amounts of foundation/makeup/fake tan onto their face. But one trend has stuck around for a while, and it involves appropriating an entire gender. Oh yes, today we're talking about men trying 'girl products'.
The trend seemingly started to gain popularity about 11 months ago when Shane Dawson uploaded his first "Trying Girl Products" video. Whilst there is nothing funnier in the world than seeing Shane try on a hideous fringe wig and messing his face up with Kylie Jenner products, the idea of these things being exclusively classified as products only for girls was NOT something we found funny. Just take a look at Marcus Butler's video below:
According to videos such as Marcus', men cannot use products such as a face masks, pore strips or eyelash curlers because they are exclusively for girls... and men when they want to mock beauty culture. It's a shame really. With massive audiences supporting channels such as Marcus Butler and Shane Dawson, the concept of men using stereotypically "female" products could do incredibly empowering things for genders and sexualities around the world to see that it's not a taboo anymore - however, instead, it's kind of enforced by them.
Let's get linguistic for a minute - do you know what "connotation" means? It basically means that whenever you see a word, in addition to its literal meaning, it can often subconsciously make you think or feel other things. So, when YouTubers tell their fans that they're trying 'girl products', two things happen:
- You will read it for its literal meaning - THESE PRODUCTS ARE FOR GIRLS.
- You will subconsciously read it for what its not saying - THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT FOR BOYS.
Do you see the problem now? Whilst it's not going to collapse the government or end the world, words and behaviours like this are damaging to a whole generation of viewers watching content from the likes of Shane and Friends (ehehe). We don't really have a fix for stuff like this either, as its already deeply ingrained into our subconscious from a child - but we do have one small suggestion...
Just say makeup. Just say pregnancy test. Just say bra. Just say anything else in the entire world than gendering it as a product exclusively for one binary gender. As much as you think you're making good content, it's incredibly problematic and your fanbase will respect you more for acknowledging it and making the change. We're looking at you Joey Graceffa, Dolan Twins and Matthew Lush.