Men Are Changing. Are Brands Keeping Up?

Brands and advertisers have invested billions in constructing an image of manhood defined by strength and power. But the mainstream perception of masculinity is changing, with icons like Timothée Chalamet reflecting the new look and attitude.

by Kati Chitrakorn

LONDON, United Kingdom — It’s been a bleak time for men as the lascivious ogres of media and politics, who were exposed by the #MeToo movement, sullied the collective reputation of the male gender. Lamenting the ills of “toxic masculinity” has become a favourite pastime among both media critics and public observers — and rightly so, as the women who suffered at the hands of abusive men can attest. Yet something important and even encouraging has been lost in all of the furore: a new generation of 21st century male icons have emerged — and a new form of masculinity with it.

An internet buzzword used to describe handsome young males of a certain persuasion, “little fresh meat” made headlines last year across China and the wider Asia region. It refers, in particular, to men who appear boyish in nature — often androgynous, sometimes overtly effeminate — and possess delicate, elfin features, but their ascension is nothing to sneer at. With an appeal that often spans both genders, they’re able to generate notable sales for the fashion and beauty brands they work with.

Luhan, dubbed the “Chinese Justin Bieber” (although probably a reference to Bieber in the more clean-cut days of his early career), is one of the foremost poster boys of this phenomenon. According to Gartner L2, L’Occitane’s launch of themed gift sets, featuring the Chinese singer in 2017, contributed to a 250 percent increase in quarterly online sales in China. Data from the research firm shows that nine out of the top 10 beauty brand Weibo posts with the most engagement between January and November 2018 featured a male “young fresh meat” celebrity…

Reblogged from Business of Fashion

Image courtesy of AllKPop

April 4, 2019 05:27am