The beauty industry in Nigeria is one that has thrived with females mostly being at the centre of it all.
From top to bottom, women are projected as the essence of beauty for ‘personal’ and commercial purposes even in areas where men are concerned. If a man can be described as beautiful however, – as has already been settled over centuries – why does it still boggle the minds of a few men (and women) when other men express interest in just being beautiful and talking about beauty for themselves and other men?
In Nigeria, men mostly feel ashamed to show and express interest in their skin and looks. And this is due to certain social constructs that have thrived in the country. From phrases like ‘men don’t really care how they look’ to ‘as long as you have money, you’re good…’ such has informed the long ignorance of Nigerian men not to be in healthy connections with their skin and looks.
For Nigeria, a lot comes to play when it comes to beauty for men, and while you may want to define Nigeria as a (hypocritically ignorant) conservative society, a few Nigerians have gone against the norm to speak up about beauty and their interest in the female-dominated industry and redefining the prospects of masculinity in Nigeria.
Enioluwa Adeoluwa, popularly called Beauty Boy, is one progressive beauty enthusiast that has attacked the traditional idea that beauty is a one-way street dominated by only his female counterpart. With personal experiences that are masked in ‘situational comedy,’ Enioluwa has veered into a female-dominated space and continues to leverage on social media as a tool to meet his target audience – men (and women if you must).
One interesting thing about Enioluwa is how he advocates for minority groups while creating conversations about skincare, beauty and the idea that as a man, you can go ahead and look fabulous!
In a country where certain generalisations, stereotypes and profiling comes into play by gradual observations, Enioluwa has been able to navigate from the negativity that comes with it; to establish a name and brand for himself.
Typically, for men, when one is ‘too’ in touch with certain mannerisms and interests, it becomes a problem and they are stereotyped into certain boxes and classes. However, Eni is not shy to address these issues that speak loudly to the toxic masculinity that has thrived in Nigeria for the longest part.
Enioluwa’s contents and advocacy for ‘male beauty’ should be an eye-opener for Nigerian brands and businesses that have closed their minds to the possibilities of having skincare and beauty products targeted at men. Going forward, brands and businesses need to look for ways to include men in the ‘beauty conversation’.
Passionately navigating social media looking his best, Enioluwa like a few other Gen Zs are leading the conversation and demanding a shift in the cultural thought process with the aim to make everyone comfortable with talking about their skin, regardless of how they define their own gender.
Michael is a dynamic writer who is still exploring the nuances of life and being human. When I’m not writing, I’m out with friends or spending nice time alone watching movies or TV Shows.
Michael is available on Twitter and Instagram @TheMichaelFaya