Clearly, Generation Z does not want to be pigeonholed and is shattering many of the constraints, stereotypes and preconceptions that have loomed large in the lives of previous generations. And the 23-year-old American rapper Lil Nas X is no exception — far from it, in fact — using his voice to make beauty more inclusive, and freer from stereotypes. And this seems to be welcomed by the sector’s major names, which no longer hesitate to shake up the codes to help bring their cosmetics to a wider audience.
No gender beauty
Rouge Pur Couture The Bold high pigment lipstick, the latest addition to the YSL Beauty make-up range, is currently the subject of several campaigns, featuring both Kaia Gerber and Lil Nas X. The American rapper, who constantly breaks with convention, both in fashion and in beauty, proves once again that cosmetics are not — or are no longer — tied to gender, while simultaneously challenging many preconceived notions of virility and masculinity.
Dressed in a black leather look, jacket open on his bare torso, or sporting a transparent shirt, the American artist presents some of the luxury brand’s new makeup products, including Lash Clash mascara and Rouge Pur Couture The Bold lipstick. The two products have probably not been chosen at random, since they have previously been considered as being entirely dedicated to female customers. But that was then! The campaign shows Lil Nas X in the middle of the desert, posing in front of a mirror and applying the brand’s products to gain voluminous lashes and vibrant pink lips — once again turning gender stereotypes on their head.
Dresses, crop tops and skin-tight jumpsuits
This is not the first — and probably not the last — time that the rapper has been intent on shaking up long-established norms. Whether about town or on the red carpets, the "Montero" singer refuses to bow to convention, always showing off his unique style, wearing dresses, crop tops and skin-tight jumpsuits. These outfits have the merit of getting people talking, questioning, while also reaching a large audience, irrespective of whether they’re open to embracing change. One of his most emblematic and evocative looks was no doubt a lilac half-dress half-suit creation by Atelier Versace, effectively embodying this desire to not (or no longer) be defined according to a gender.
Like Harry Styles, David Banda, A$AP Rocky, Bad Bunny, Pete Davidson, Timothée Chalamet and Jaden Smith — to name but a few — Lil Nas X is part of a generation that is out to blur the boundaries, to push things forward, while deconstructing as much as possible the famous myth of virility.