Eyeliner, Men, and Judgemental People

It totally sucks that my job takes up so much of my time. We’ve been working 10 hour days this week. Sucky. One of the worst parts is that I sit here at my desk and come up with marvelous ideas for blog posts, then forget them/don’t have time to write them/don’t have the energy to do anything when I’m done with work. I miss blogging!

I do have something to write about and, oddly, time to do it. The end of the month is busy in finance except when it’s not.

There is a man here, at my work, that wears eyeliner. He could identify as something other than a man, but I have no way of knowing that so I’m afraid I’ll have to continue with my assumptions for ease of writing.

I work at a large company – there are between 3,000 and 6,000 employees in this building all working for one company. When someone does or wears something “different,” they often become the-man(or woman)-who-blank. Occasionally they acquire a name like Crazy Phil, but that’s a different story. I’d like to talk about the-man-who-wears-eyeliner (or tmwwe).

First I want to say this: tmwwe, that eyeliner looks awesome on you.

Second I want to say: even if the eyeliner didn’t look awesome, there’s nothing wrong with the man wearing it.

I saw tmwwe for the first time some weeks ago. I honestly thought, “Is that man wearing eyeliner?!… Actually, it looks pretty good, and who the hell cares if men choose to wear eyeliner?”

Tmwwe then came up in conversation at lunch, although I had nothing to do with bringing up the subject. The people I work with can be a bit gossippy. I regret that I didn’t really participate in the conversation. They made fun of tmwwe. They said mean things about how “it’s just wrong” for men to wear eyeliner. You can probably imagine what their remarks sounded like. I regret that I didn’t speak up; in my head I responded with, “What’s wrong with a man wearing eyeliner? I actually think it looks pretty good, and even if it didn’t it’s not like it hurts anyone.” I wish I had said it aloud.

There is nothing wrong with men wearing eyeliner. Nevermind the fact that major male stars wear eyeliner relatively often (Brandon Flowers from the Killers, anyone?). Nevermind the fact that in some industrialized countries it’s perfectly acceptable for men to wear makeup. And nevermind all the other facts that make a man wearing eyeliner no big deal.

I want to focus on one thing, and one thing only: what reason can you give me for thinking it’s not okay for men to wear eyeliner? I don’t want something arbitrary, and I’d highly recommend avoiding anything that can be responded to with, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it to?” I also want to qualify this by saying I’m not asking for reasons why an individual male would choose not to wear eyeliner (i.e. he doesn’t want to deal with the crap that goes with it). I want a real reason why it’s somehow a problem for men to wear it.

I doubt you can come up with anything.

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