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Feminism: chat

Why are all the top hair stylists/ make-up artists men?

15 replies

GenderNo · 19/02/2022 13:10

Yes, I know that men wear make-up/ have long hair too, and I'm all for that.

However, the majority of make-up and hair products are bought and used by women. Most of the people in these industries are women too.

So why are the most famous make-up artists and hair stylists all men? It would be nice to see more women in these roles given that it's a female-dominated industry.

Yes, this isn't the most pressing of feminist issues, but it's one that winds me up everytime I see my DSD watching make-up videos on Youtube.

OP posts:

VelvetChairGirl · 19/02/2022 18:29

Same reason why they are top in everything else, no glass celing for them unlike female chefs, fashion designers etc


ITSupport · 19/02/2022 18:35


A lot of the time it’s because women either can’t or (honestly more often) won’t put in the flexibility and hours required

I work in an industry where you can earn six figures on a self employed basis.

However to get there you have to do 80 hour weeks, travel to the arse end of no where at the drop of a hat (including central Africa and the Middle East) and do your time

The reward is industry rep, high salary, and flexibility once your in your 40s

How many women would actually do that? I’m one fo a very small number of women at my level in my industry


FloBot7 · 19/02/2022 18:41

I can think of more female makeup artists than male. Pat McGrath, Mary Greenwell, Lisa Eldridge, Bobbi Brown etc. There's a definite trend on YouTube with young gay makeup artists becoming more popular lately but that seems to be the YouTube personality that appeals to younger girls.


cupolaoftea · 19/02/2022 18:50

Glass escalator.


Alltheprettyseahorses · 19/02/2022 18:53

Oddly enough, I was chatting with a couple of friends about this yesterday when we saw a local hairdressers run by a very high profile woman was closing. I think (and we all thought) it's because men in female-dominated industries automatically get promoted to the top, often regardless of ability. Which is not to say top male hairdressers aren't really talented but women who are equally as good or better will be overlooked.

ITSupport men often have the luxury of having someone who will pick up their responsibilities so they can do the hours, where most women don't. In some ways, it seems as if it's done deliberately to exclude women with children, vulnerable relatives etc because men are in the same situation but will frequently just walk away and leave it all to someone else.


AnnieLobeseder · 19/02/2022 18:54

Like so much else in this world, when women do it, it's just a regular boring job that anyone could do, why would anyone think they're special. Same with cooking, teaching etc.

But as soon as a man does it, well obviously he's fucking amazing, no-one has ever done it better, promote him beyond his boring female peers immediately and bow down in adoration.


ITSupport · 19/02/2022 21:19


Which is exactly what I did - women can do it they choose not to


Alltheprettyseahorses · 19/02/2022 21:30

I don't agree ITSupport. What happens if women walk away? Who will feed kids and elderly relatives? It isn't a choice at all.


TedMullins · 19/02/2022 21:37


I don't agree ITSupport. What happens if women walk away? Who will feed kids and elderly relatives? It isn't a choice at all.

Maybe if more women walked away from responsibilities and chose to put themselves first men would be forced to step up!

ITSupport · 19/02/2022 21:42


Which is what happened in one case in my family

However in my case I outsource to carers
For my mother - they are a damn sight better than I would ever be!

I do what I’m good at and pay someone to do what I’m not

Which is what men in general dk


SwissBall · 19/02/2022 22:50

For makeup artists I can think of more women than men - as a pp said -
Pat McGrath, Mary Greenwell, Lisa Eldridge, Bobbi Brown
I would add Charlotte Tilbury to that.

But I can’t think of well-known female hairdressers though you’re right.


ITSupport · 19/02/2022 23:09

The biggest thing though was deciding early on in my twenties that’s the path I was going down and not getting knocked up or trapped


stayathomer · 19/02/2022 23:28

Out of any standout times I've gotten my hair/ make up done the standouts were male except for one. They were standouts because of the talent they had. In one case (Mac counter in Arnotts, Henry Street Dublin), I went into the bathroom and cried because I'd been feeling shit about myself and I honestly felt like me again. I don't know that it's always as easy as women didn't have the opportunity although it could be just that they stand out in a female dominated arena in the same way I rate female crime writers more because I know of the men more so jump for females


MangyInseam · 19/02/2022 23:35

I think there are a lot of women high up in that industry?

But I do think a lot of women are less likely to pursue the most high end jobs in highly competitive industries with long, weird hours and travel. And I don't think that's some kind of wholly socialized thing, it's because there is a significant percentage of women who want to be active mothers and those kinds of jobs are not likely to be their first choice.

The other element that is maybe more unusual is that a fairly significant number of men in those jobs are gay, and they very often don't have any children. They are in a good position to devote themselves to a career, compared to other men who have kids.


MangyInseam · 19/02/2022 23:40

In fact I would say the last three hairdressers I have had, all women, in part chose that career because it allowed flexibility for their kids. They were all compentent and one was a fabulous and talented stylist. But they all had a kids they wanted to be there for and also a lot of them specifically wanted a job they could do in any place including their hometowns.

Now my mum's hairdresser, who is a gay man with no kids, is a workaholic who not only owns his own salon but runs the local business development group and makes appearances on local tv and publishes a little beauty magazine, among other things. He's very invested not only in fashion and beauty but also in business. It's his whole life.

At a population level differences like that can start to look significant.

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