Georgie Aldous works at a makeup store in England. Growing up, he'd play with his mother's lipstick and mascara, and for the past year, he's been proudly wearing makeup himself. On Instagram, where he has more than 6,000 followers, he posts selfies wearing lipstick and blush, like any other makeup blogger.
Yet around him, according to Aldous, not one man is the face of a British makeup brand. Not one man is on those makeup displays he's surrounded by at work. Not one man is on a billboard, advertising mascara or lipstick or blush.
This all came to a head in October, when the American makeup company CoverGirl announced that it'd be having its first CoverBoy, James Charles. That's when Aldous, 18, decided to take action and draft up a petition on Change.org calling on major U.K. beauty brands like Boots and MUA to start including men in their makeup campaigns.
"After CoverGirl had James Charles as their first male model, [it] made me realize that in England it's just not as common as it is in America," Aldous said in an interview.
He continued: "I started out by contacting brands, brand owners, PR teams, marketing teams etc, about why I believe we should have male models. Due to either having no reply, a lame excuse, a thanks for the feedback or a suspected bribery of free products, I decided to make the campaign to show how many people really do want models in the U.K."
At time of writing, the petition itself has garnered more than 360 supporters, with a goal of 500.
The reason why Aldous feels so passionately about this subject is because he's seen the effect of makeup companies only marketing themselves towards women and no one else. In short: It creates a stigma around men and makeup.
"As a man that wears makeup, when I enter a store to see just women plastered everywhere and no men in sight, it does hurt me," Aldous said. "It makes you feel like you shouldn't be wearing it because you don't see men wearing it on the stands and adverts. It makes you feel alienated and not accepted by the brands that are featuring women only."
"Because I work at a beauty store, I notice a lot of parents tell their sons to get away from the makeup because it's for girls, which breaks my heart because that child will never want to experiment with makeup and they will now grow up thinking that makeup is only for woman," Aldous continued.
Plus, with many of the largest American makeup companies now including men in their makeup campaigns, from CoverGirl to Maybelline to MAC, England is now slipping behind when it comes to inclusivity in the beauty realm.
For Aldous, it's obvious they're all really just missing a massive opportunity to incite progress.
"Makeup brands in England really have the chance to change this society and the way people see it, with CoverGirl trending worldwide by having James Charles as their first male spokesmodel, England really needs to catch up," Aldous wrote in his petition. "Men in the beauty industry matter too."