The paradigm shift taking place in the definition of beauty in regards to gender.
Take a look around you: on the streets, in TV shows and movies, on the internet, and social media in particular. You will find plenty of identities and individual stories, maybe including your own?! They are gradually superseding demographics as we used to know them—age, race, sex, or location. Like-minded communities come together to survive and thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In our world of genderless pronouns, they, ze, sie, are evolving our ideas of gender norms and adapting our take within the world of beauty and grooming.
As a growing population rejects identities formed around the traditional, gendered expectations, how we care for ourselves also evolves. Newer brands are entering the market with gender fluidity already built into their DNA, using branding and marketing that reflects diversity in race and gender, and designing products in ways that avoid old stereotypes.
Self-care For Everyone!
Our society is increasingly supportive of the you do you attitude when it comes to self-expression. Today, consumers treat brands and products as an extension of themselves. The modern consumer believes that equality forms the basis of everything and respects companies that portray reality honestly.
People are done pretending, done building walls, and have been aching to have honest conversations. Social scientists like Brené Brown have sparked a global conversation about embracing vulnerability. “The path to belonging starts with vulnerability—the willingness to show up.” Brands are hearing that message loud and clear and showing up to have raw conversations.
The complexity of gender and sexual identity has become a more accepted part of life. Global research is showing that an increasing number of people are identifying as gender and sexually fluid. A recent study from IPSOS shows that only around 66% of Gen Z consider themselves exclusively heterosexual; the rest range in their sexual preferences.
This consumer expects brands to evolve beyond the term unisex and adopting branding strategies that treat everyone with respect. This generational belief and attitude are quickly shifting from niche to mass adoption.
Brands are increasingly launching genderless fragrances: Chanel’s Les Eaux de Chanel, LVMH, and its line of perfumes that prioritize experiential fantasy over gender-specific fragrance notes. In 2018, 51% of global fragrance launch revolved around unisex or gender-neutral, which continues to rise. Gender-neutral beauty, including skincare and cosmetics, has made its way to the mainstream via traditional companies. Rihanna has launched Fenty Skin as a streamlined offering of clean, sustainable products and wants to make it accessible to people of all skin types and colors.
The color cosmetics brand One/Size by Patrick Starrr sells at Sephora and identifies as gender-neutral. The brand believes that beauty expresses itself via self-care and everyone deserves quality self-care, and everyone deserves to be seen.
Industry of Inspiration
Open online spaces such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, and Pinterest empower consumers to share looks and routines that only celebrities and professionals have shared previously. Through these inclusive platforms, anyone can share their personal identities and creations to inspire others. This era of influencers encapsulates the shift within genderless beauty.
Luke V Smith, the UK-based stylist, focuses on dismantling stereotypical gender labels through his work. Inclusivity and gender fluidity form core themes running through his creative work, intending to dissolve toxic masculinity.
Rain Dove, from Italy, uses social media platforms to encourage others to detach themselves from gender ideas. Using the tagline come as you are, Rain acts genuinely versatile, showcasing skills covering everything from firefighting to modeling and now partnering with beauty brands like Dove skincare.
This topic could interest those who identify as gender-fluid and all Millennials and Gen Z who adopt this mentality of equality, anti-stereotyping, and shattering prescribed identity boxes. At Symrise, we continue to move ahead of the curve in innovating beauty ingredients and scents. We understand the shift from gender to gender-neutral needs and desires through a psychographic lens and deliver what the consumers are craving on all levels.
What scents or notes do you prefer that do away with gender-specific? What new brands or products do you use that design for all? Do you buy products advertised for a specific gender that you prefer solely for their particular benefits? Comment below: