From the names of our deodorant to the colours of our razors, the beauty industry seems to be determined to perpetuate stereotypes and solidify that line between male and female. Even in a world where more and more people identify openly as non-binary, gender neutral or genderqueer, we still forced to pick one side or another when it comes to beauty and self-care.

Image credit: Unsplash

Image credit: Unsplash

There’s nothing more off-putting for a consumer than having to decide whether to shop in the “male” section or the “female” section, when all you want is a razor/moisturiser/shampoo etc. It causes so much unnecessary anxiety. And no, it isn’t a small minority that believe there’s an unnecessary binary in the beauty industry, it’s as much as two thirds of the population (84%) according to research undertaken by razor brand Estrid.

When almost half (43%) of potential customers are actively avoiding buying products because they feel underrepresented, it feels insane that brands aren’t jumping to re-evaluate their advertising strategy, as well as the look and feel of their products.

It’s not only gender-neutral consumers who are feeling left out (though 61% admitted they did feel marginalised). Many men find themselves with very little choice when it comes to self-care items like moisturiser, hair products and vitamins, despite the fact that women are generally rather spoilt for choice. It makes no sense when men should also be encouraged to look after their skin, hair and overall health. 

Meanwhile, men are inundated with razors and deodorants geared towards them, which is ironic when you consider that women are criticised for having any hair on their body, and men are practically considered gods for having beards. And woe betide men who want to remove their body hair (unless their body builders, of course). Plus, women also want decent deodorants. There’s nothing worse than attempting to reduce B.O. with a powdery, subtle scent, while men swan around wearing deodorant so strong you can smell it from fifty feet away. 

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It’s not just that people have to consider whether they want to smell like a man/woman, people are left wondering if certain products that are more geared towards a specific gender work better than others. I personally only buy men’s razors, because I’m deeply suspicious of blades for women.

"At Estrid, we’re extremely passionate about changing the way people perceive gendered norms around products in general and hair removal in particular", said Dani Montano, Creative Lead. "To us that means removing the binary lens and making products for humans and not genders. And as it turns out, our research has shown that the majority of people feel just the same as we do: the binary approach to living is highly old fashioned and it’s time for brands to get ahead of the curve."

It’s time we walked into supermarkets and drugstores to see rows of neutral-coloured products which people could browse for what they needed, and not be put off by ridiculously feminine or masculine branding.

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