"It's about looking the way you want and showing that you have a choice in whatever you do in life," says makeup blogger Gevorg. He along with fellow makeup artist Naumov have a massive fan following on Instagram and while their roles have challenged male gender norms and received flak, they are helping Russian audiences expand their gender perspectives.
The old Soviet order still seeps into today's mentalities
Naumov who also has his own line of makeup products reveals the reason why the duo receives a lot of backlash. It's not about Russian gender sensibilities but rather the old Soviet order which has seeped into today's mentalities, "Everyone was supposed to be equal, the same, neither more nor less than anyone else." While American male influencers, like James Charles, Manny MUA and Jeffree Star have millions of subscribers and followers on their social media handles, these Russian homegrown bloggers have a much smaller audience but are slowly changing their viewers one post and video at a time. "You have to wait for people to become more open, more receptive to new ideas and that is quite a difficult thing," says Naumov.
There is the myth that straight men never wear makeup
They want to reach out to all men regardless of their sexuality since there is a misconception that straight men never wear makeup, which is not true. All male celebrities across the world wear makeup, and many ordinary men too, you just can't see it. With the hope that people's attitudes also get a makeover, they are giving advice to a number of men in Russia who are interested in all things beauty and makeup. Gevorg has admitted to receiving a host of abuse both online and offline; he has been called immoral. Now he just blocks people because they do not bother him anymore. However, people's attitudes have come a long way than when they first started on social media. These 26 and 27-year-old bloggers are saying that their social media platforms are a fun way to help develop people in a different and they are glad to be a part of it.
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