Thanks To Ansel Elgort’s Bold Golden Globes Look, Make-up For Men Is Officially A Thing
Ansel Elgort, the fresh faced star of Baby Driver and the forthcoming cinematic adaptation of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, is a straight 25-year-old man. Elgort is also very funny on Instagram; he plays pranks. He’s a DJ and he loves baseball. He’s a bit of a lad, all told, a bro. He’s been dating his high school sweetheart since 2013 (she’s a ballerina, of course) and he loves to skate.
What Elgort also is, it turns out, is a bit of a pioneer.
Last night, the actor – who is due to star as Tony in Steven Spielberg’s new take on West Side Story -– not only wore a midnight-blue velvet Tom Ford dinner jacket (which was killer in and of itself, but not much to write home about in a sea of squint-inducingly similar dinner suits), but also sported a lick of glittery eyeshadow and some ice-blue nail varnish: an excellently outré flourish.
Before we go any further it should be noted that Elgort is not the first male star to wear make-up on the red carpet. Queer actor Ezra Miller has been doing it for yonks, Harry Styles has long been partial to a spot of maquillage, Sam Smith is all about that contouring life and the Beckhams’ first born, Brooklyn, wore nail varnish on Christmas Day.
What should also be noted, however, is that Elgort is very much a member of Old Hollywood. A new member, sure, but a member nonetheless. Elgort is one of the next generation of handsome, white leading men – an old fashioned movie star, the likes of whom would have struggled to justify wearing blue velvet just five short years ago, let alone full-face make-up.
It’s a shift that suggests, for the first time ever, it might actually be legitimately possible for men, straight men – who enjoy sports and date their high school sweethearts – to really, truly get away with wearing nail varnish, foundation, lipstick and, well, glittery eye shadow and, perhaps most importantly, look great doing it.
It’s a point the cosmetics brands are beginning to pick up on too. Chanel launched its Boy De Chanel range of foundations and eyebrow tints over a year ago and the Parisian uber label plans to piggyback on that collection’s success with a line of matte black and white nail varnishes aimed squarely at, you guessed it, men, this coming April.
The real question Elgort’s cosmetic glow-up poses however, is why has it taken so long for men to be allowed to wear make-up? Women have been free to beautify themselves since time immemorial, but if men so much as sniffed at a bottle of fake tan or a pot of chapstick, they were considered a pansy, a fairy, not – in short – a real man.
So in this, our age of ever-increasing intolerance and depressingly narrowing perspectives, I salute Elgort for daring to do things a little differently and for encouraging men – blokes – creatures all-too-often curtailed by their own self-inflicted sense of masculine propriety, to mess around a bit and have some fun with their faces. Because if skateboard-flipping, ballerina-snogging, Tom Ford suit-wearing Hollywood superstar Ansel Elgort can wear eyeshadow from his little sister’s “Elsa From Frozen Make-Up Kit” to the Golden Globes, then why the hell shouldn’t you?