Following in the footsteps of brands like Tom Ford and Chanel, Kim Kardashian’s beauty line KKW might soon produce a men’s makeup line. Kardashian hinted at her plans on Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s Christmas special, saying “something is in the works.”
It makes sense that she’d want to market beauty products to men. Earlier this year, Forbes reported that skincare sales are way up among American men—they spent $6.9 billion on grooming products last year alone. And with the ever-growing community of male beauty YouTubers like James Charles and Manny MUA who bend gender norms as they apply lipstick, line their eyes and contour around their beards, it’s getting easier to drop the idea that makeup is just a women’s thing.
But you know what else is a thing? Doing away with silly gender divisions. From bathrooms to clothing, we’re slowly moving away from a world where there are “man” things and “woman” things, and towards inclusivity. We’re realizing that we don’t need to put products in pink or blue boxes to make them palatable to men vs women. It’s a good thing, and it makes space for the thousands of people who identify as non-binary.
Despite the changes, so many personal care brands still market one product to women and another to men when they’re essentially the exact same thing, often jacking up the price up for the “lady version” in the process. But the beauty industry is also one that’s got so much potential when it comes to inclusivity, and there are so many companies, YouTubers and makeup artists who are working to make all people feel beautiful.
Take Fluide Beauty, for example, which hired Jacob Tobia, a gender nonconforming LGBT rights activist, as the face of its new lipstick campaign. Or Milk Makeup’s spring 2017 campaign called Blur The Lines, which highlighted the universality of their Blur Stick. And it’s not just smaller, niche brands making strides towards inclusivity—in 2016, CoverGirl made James Charles its first CoverBoy, no men’s product extension necessary.
So why can’t Kim just market the products she already has to a wider audience? Why the need for a separate men’s line, when really makeup is makeup? Kardashian was called out last year while looking for women only for a campaign shoot, excluding a lot of people who love her brand, including men and non-binary folks. But it seems that with the news of a possible KKW men’s line, she doesn’t really understand the need for inclusivity in the beauty industry.