“A woman must not put on man’s apparel, nor shall a man wear woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is abhorrent to Hashem your God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)
CVS, the largest drugstore chain in the US, announced it will be adding men’s cosmetics to its line of products at 2,000 stores, rep[resenting about one-quarter of the CVS stores nationwide.
The products will be from Stryx, a specialty men’s beauty care products company founded in 2017. The products don’t intend to make men pretty, the company says, but rather allow them to hide their flaws.
“Men’s grooming has seen incredible growth during this stay-at-home period,” CVS said in a statement. “Men are a top customer focus at CVS Beauty.”
To support this, a survey by Morning Consult in September claimed that about one-third of U.S. men under 45 said they would consider trying makeup. An article in the Chicago Tribune about the CVS decision reported that the market for men’s grooming and skincare products has grown about 13% over the past five years and it is currently a $9.3 billion market.
As impressive as that sounds, men’s beauty products account for less than 1% of global sales. Male cosmetics were originally targeted towards homosexual men, however, market research revealed that only a third of male cosmetic consumers were gay. Some men use beauty products to cover perceived flaws on their faces, such as acne marks and freckles. A 2016 Euromonitor study in Britain determined that the average man spent $36 annually on male grooming products including deodorants, shaving products, and toiletries, but not make-up. By contrast, women spent $252 on beauty products.
Rabbi Yekutiel Fish noted that wearing makeup in the manner a woman wears makeup would certainly violate Biblical law.
A woman must not put on man’s apparel, nor shall a man wear woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is abhorrent to Hashem your God. Deuteronomy 22:5
wearing makeup was a custom of Egyptian men. The rabbi noted that according to Jewish tradition, the Egyptian taskmasters made the work especially hard for the Children of Israel by assigning work to men that was more suited to women, and vice-versa.
“The internet has destroyed the concept of truth,” Rabbi Fish said. “A person can find a source for any craziness that enters his mind. Yes, a man can wear cosmetics but it has never been nor should it be a thing men do. Confusing things intentionally is the lowest level of impurity and the final stage before geula (redemption).”
Ah, Those who call evil good And good evil; Who present darkness as light And light as darkness; Who present bitter as sweet And sweet as bitter! Ah, Those who are so wise— In their own opinion; So clever— In their own judgment! Isaiah 5:20
But the rabbi had some words of encouragement.
“According to Jewish tradition, the world must arrive at the lowest level of impurity before the gates of redemption are opened. This is so there can be no confusion. A person cannot hide which side they were on. A man wearing makeup or a woman dressing like a man cannot try to fool the Messiah. It is clear where they stand.”