Changing the Face of Masculinity | Luis Mario Pinedo Lewit
Luis Mario Pinedo Lewit is a 20-year-old from Mexico City, Mexico. Living in New York City and studying Advertising and Marketing Communication at the Fashion Institute of Technology, he is an advocate for the changing face of masculinity. You can find him on Instagram.
When did you first discover your love for makeup?
When I was in elementary school, I did theater. I loved it when we put on plays and I was able to wear makeup during the shows. Then when I got to high school, I joined a dance group and whenever we were performing, we did our makeup in the theme of the dance, so whenever I had the opportunity to wear it, all I could remember was looking in the mirror and saying “Wow. I look so good”. I loved it. I didn't, however, start buying my own makeup until March this year. Now I can't seem to stop.
Why is makeup so fascinating?
I think makeup fascinates me so much because not only do I love how it looks, packaging and all, I also love to feel like I'm a different person. Even if it's just for the smallest moments. Makeup is a way for me to change into someone else and change the way I look, temporarily. It gives me personality. Others may have a different opinion about this, but wearing makeup can also show people how you're feeling that day as well. It’s like clothing—depending on your mood, you'll wear something different. When you’re talking to someone, the first thing you see is their face and I think it's important to add some personality to that.
Who are your beauty icons? Whose look inspires you?
I don't have a specific beauty icon. I admire everyone as long as they stand for something good. I personally don’t want to look like anyone else. I just want to be unique and myself. Funny enough, I get slightly offended when people tell me I look like someone else or that I remind them of someone because I still want to keep that uniqueness about myself. At this point in time, I adore everyone who stands up for themselves and does what they want to do without thinking about what anyone else thinks.
Would you consider yourself to be a makeup enthusiast?
Yes. I think everyone is beautiful with or without makeup but if you feel comfortable and like how it looks, I think you should totally use it no matter who you are. I think that doing makeup is a form of self-expression and art and everyone needs to express themselves if they feel the need to.
Do you feel like there’s a stigma that comes with people assigned male at birth wearing makeup?
Yes. I think there’s a stigma, and that can be both positive and negative. For instance, some people may assume you're gay if you're a male who wears makeup. Even though some people are open-minded, I think many people have conscious and subconscious ideas about how people and how beauty should look. I've asked my gay and straight friends and a lot of them have said that a male who wears makeup is less attractive and I think it’s because society's standards are still stuck in our heads and continue to make it seem weird. I am encouraging people who want to wear makeup to go for it because eventually, it will be the norm. There's nothing weird about wanting to express yourself.
Because you identify as male when it comes to makeup, do you think that that affects the way people view you?
Yes, because there's a great number of assumptions like “Oh, you’re gay". In this case, I am, but the assumptions are just unnecessary and it can discourage those who may not be. What does makeup have to do with sexual orientation? That’s society, once again, controlling the way people think. Sexual orientation and makeup should not go hand and hand.
Do you think that more people need to be exposed to the changing definition of masculinity?
Yes because masculinity is an abstract idea and is extremely subjective. Musicality is how you personally view it and it’s different for everyone.
How does you being from Mexico and now living in the U.S affect the way you do and view makeup?
I think that Mexican people have different makeup styles. Most of my friends back in Mexico have discreet and natural makeup looks. They just wear some lipstick, foundation, and mascara with neutral eyeshadows. I’ve never seen my friends go out with like blues or purples or reds. But in the U.S., when people wear makeup, they wear it super heavy and whenever I see girls here partying, they have heavy makeup on and it’s more noticeable than Mexico. At first, when I came here, I didn't like it because it was so different from what I'm used to, but now I absolutely love it.
What was your first “makeup moment” and what do you wear today?
When I had my dance presentations, I loved how makeup felt and looked on me. That was a moment I really enjoyed and back then, I wasn’t brave enough to wear it in my daily life, so doing dance was the perfect excuse for me to wear makeup. Like, if I’m in the theater, no one's going to say anything about me wearing makeup because that's what’s expected of me. More recently, one day I wore some lipstick out and about and I really liked how it looked on me.
You’ve mentioned that you want to start wearing a fuller face of makeup out in public. What’s stopping you?
Time. I’m always late for everything I go to. If I used makeup more often, I would be even later. I’m also scared that my makeup skills aren’t the best. I want to practice my skills first before I go out in public, but before that, I obsessively need the time.
Do you have any advice for anyone else, let’s say, another identifying male, who wants to wear makeup, but they’re too afraid to do it?
I would say you owe more to yourself than to other people. Stop thinking about what others will think about you because one day you will die, and if you didn’t do what you wanted to do, you’re going to regret it. Your life will be pointless if you don’t go for it.
What is next for you? Do you have any hopes, dreams, plans you are excited about?
I’m excited to see where my life goes when it comes to makeup, I want to start using it in my daily life. Each day that goes by, I feel more encouraged and free to do the things I like without caring about what other people think. It's helped me to find myself and what I really like. I hope that living my life the way I want to live it will encourage others to do the same and help them overcome their fears. I’m hoping I can serve as a role model for them.