Today, as a result of continuing boredom, good-ish personal hygiene and curiosity, I decided to buy some deep cleansing pore strips, made by Bioré. I had seen videos on YouTube of the sheer number of blackheads that these strips can remove, thus could not wait at the chance to give them a go myself, my skin being the sort capable of causing an oil spill if I were to take a swim in the ocean. And before you start to say, ‘I hope this isn’t another blog about these pore strip things, I’ve seen and heard enough about them already,’ do not fear, I am not reviewing them. They work. Do buy. Enough said. What I am going to focus on instead is the cosmetics and beauty world in a more holistic way. The issue I found when visiting shops that sell these aforementioned products is just how female-focussed they are. The Boots store from where I bought these strips was a sizeable store, yet if I were to try and find where all the men’s products were, I had to pay Charon my fare to cross the Styx, journey deep into the underworld, only to find caffeine shampoo and some dye to hide your greys. I will not need either product for several years, hopefully. There is such a lack of choice. It is almost as if men never visit such stores. But there is a reason why men don’t, the layout and design just doesn’t have men in mind. That is why you can call me Julie, Julie has a vast array of products to choose from. Julie has a whole shop to choose from, not just one corner. Julie doesn’t have to feel justification for buying cleansing strips, they’re marketed to be sold specifically to a female audience. These cleansing strips were in what could only be described as a ‘female’ section of the store, the overwhelming arrays of pinks and floral patterning made it impossible to be a ‘male’ section.
Now I am not being bitter about the larger choice women have. I know how business works. I know that men, on the whole, are less interested in buying these sort of products. I know that women purchase more of these products than their male counterparts. But what I also know is how seriously men take their appearance. I am sure that one of the reasons why men do not buy these products is because of the way it is advertised. Men only feel comfortable in their section of the shop, the tiny section offering a tiny selection of overpriced products. Products like these strips, products many guys would love to use, products which would help greatly with personal confidence and self-esteem, are just not marketed to men. I felt when buying these strips that I had to have some sort of justification for buying such products. That is why I titled this piece ‘You can call me Julie’, it seemed like I had to be a woman to purchase such things. This quite frankly shouldn’t be the case. It shouldn’t be how I feel when purchasing something which men often have more of then women, we do indeed often have more blackheads then our female friends. I certainly had many, many more than my girlfriend!
So I urge cosmetic companies to move forward with the times and start to realise the fact that men do really care about how they look. Start to market these products to men, make stores more gender neutral, and not only will these actions increase companies’ sales, but it will give men the confidence to buy these products, in turn increasing the confidence they have in themselves.