MEN IN LIPSTICK is an exploration into the notion of current societal gender constructs and how some things are still, even in 21st century western culture, only deemed socially acceptable for one gender. My intention in creating this book, was to provide an opportunity for men and women to be open minded about what it is to be ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ and how certain tools, such as lipstick, can allow a person to reveal an identity that may or may not be repressed due to certain conforms, surrounding gender, that society places upon us. I wanted to create this photographic book in order to spark a conversation as to why images such as men wearing lipstick, are still seen as abnormal even though certain makeup products adopted by men, such as fake tan and ‘guy-liner’, have widely been accepted. In undertaking this project, I was keen to see how the men how the men I asked to photograph reacted to wearing the lipstick and, if they chose not to wear it, why they didn’t want to.
I photographed 100 men in public spaces over a period of three months, approaching them in a way that allowed them to decide for themselves whether or not they wanted to wear the lipstick and took shots of them accordingly. I recorded their responses when they declined wearing the lipstick, and their reasons are listed at the back of the book.