Why this men’s make-up brand is getting dragged for being called ‘War Paint’

Thanks to brands like Fenty Beauty introducing a revolutionary amount of skintones, the make-up industry has seen huge changes in recent years.

The latest brand hoping to ‘disrupt’ the industry is War Paint, a make-up brand “formulated specifically for men’s skin”.

The company has gone viral – but not entirely for the best reasons. In fact, there would seem to be quite a few people on Twitter who have some bones to pick with War Paint for men.

Some people find the advert funny, as the normal make-up you can buy would work just as well for men as women, surely?

However, it’s worth noting War Paint doesn’t agree with this analysis. They replied to Twitter user @SushiRollPhan who tweeted: “That’s probably because there’s no biological difference between men’s skin and women’s skin. It’s literally just skin,” with a link to its about page where it says: “Men’s skin is naturally tougher, the skin on a man’s face is 25% thicker than a woman’s, men’s skin also has bigger pores and a lot more of them which produces more sebum [oily secretion] than a woman.”

Some think the name and the way the make-up is advertised plays into old school gender roles. While some consider this kind of marketing – where the man is stereotypically ‘manly’ and wears a skull ring with rock music playing in the background – is damaging and feeds into toxic masculinity.

And it’s not just the limited portrayal of manhood that’s rubbing people up the wrong way. Some think the company hasn’t thought through the cultural connotations of its name.

Others think the arguably violent language used to advertise the make-up is inappropriate.

Even though some replies on the thread are pretty heated, some people have dived in with jokes, playing on the kinds of comments women who wear make-up often receive from some men. Take Twitter user @catscomisetc’s tweet: “Wow, better take him swimming on the first date so you know what you’re really getting!” and @ClaireHellrod’s: “I prefer natural men, it’s such false advertising to take a man home and realize he has dark circles in the morning.”

Then, of course, there are the inevitable Friends jokes.

One thing we do know for sure is, we’ve never seen a make-up brand aimed at women advertised quite like this.

- Press Association

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