During the Golden Globes, Ansel Elgort captured headlines for randomly belting the words “Original Song” while presenting an award. But many were already debating Elgort prior to the questionably-timed singing. The actor wore glitter eyeshadow and white nail polish to the Golden Globes, which gained mixed reactions online. While some thought the look was trendy and innocent enough, others called it an example of queerbaiting or co-opting LGBTQ culture.
Men’s fashion and beauty website Very Good Light directly asked the question on their Instagram account to a pool of almost 10,000 followers, sparking a debate. While some followers said the style was “cute” and said they were “into it,” others called it “performative queerness.”
“Stop appropriating queer culture because it’s ‘fashionable’ and ‘trendy,’” one commenter wrote on the post.
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Many commenters pointed out the privilege a straight non-trans man has to experiment with traditionally feminine beauty looks. Others pointed out while some male celebrities are known for bending the rules of masculine style, this beauty choice seems to come out of left-field for Elgort.
“A transgender man was murdered this week, but yes Ansel, go wear your little nails and eyeshadow and fail to acknowledge how privileged you are to be safe to as a straight cis man experiment with your appearance without being scared of verbal or physical abuse,” one commenter wrote.
“F**k this. Cis men stealing non-binary aesthetics is unacceptable,” another commenter added on the post. “You are not brave for doing this. Bravery is non-binary people living their truth despite the risk of being harassed or killed.”
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But many people came to Elgort’s defense, saying the beauty choice was never touted by Elgort as an act of bravery. Instead, they said, it appeared to be the actor following the trend of men in makeup, which Elgort isn't the first straight male celebrity to follow.
“Guys, we don’t ‘own’ makeup,” a commenter wrote on Very Good Light’s Instagram post, seemingly addressing the LGBTQ community. “And if little queer boys and girls see this and feel better about themselves, then all the better. I’m not applauding it as some daring act of bravery… It’s a breakdown of toxic masculinity, which is [great] if you ask me.”
On Twitter, most Golden Globe watchers seemed to like Elgort’s glitter moment, with fans calling it “iconic” and gushing over the smear of sparkle. Back on Very Good Light’s Instagram, once commenter addressed how those not supporting the move may be contradicting themselves, especially if they advocate for bending gender boundaries.
“People are really out here contradicting themselves,” the commenter wrote. “You want to normalize men wearing makeup to reduce toxic masculinity, but then get upset if a straight man wears makeup.”
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