‘Glow.’ That’s how Young Chidzy, a 26-year-old DJ and entertainer from Manchester, captioned his Twitter pic. His eyebrows freshly done and wearing a dash of make-up - possibly he's read our best mascara guide - he thought he looked good, he felt good and he wanted to flaunt it.
“One of my friends is a make-up artist and I always like the way she does her eyebrows. So I asked her if she wanted to do mine for her YouTube channel, she agreed and we did it about a month ago,” he tells me.
Instead, the image sparked a mini-Twitter storm that gives a handy little insight into modern masculinity and why men still struggle to be open about taking care of themselves.
“I have always had my eyebrows shaped and sometimes tinted but I really did not expect the amount of negativity that came through because of this pic,” he says.
“I got the usual homophobic comments people always get, being called ‘gay’ and ‘fruity.’ But the most annoying one was people commenting using the word ‘Sis.’ I’m a guy so I really didn’t get where the ‘Sis’ comments were coming from.”
He got heaps of negative comments such as “Ffs Delete this! Is nasty” to a gif of a group guys throwing backs their heads in mocking laughter.
And for all of society’s talk about men showing sensitivity and taking care of themselves, Chidzy’s disappointed by the backlash, including from women.
“I was really surprised by the way some girls reacted. These are girls who can’t even tell their friend that she’s wearing the wrong shade of make-up, but they felt the need to attack me.”
This point wasn’t lost on other commenters, as well.
“Hmm. Funny us ladies chat about toxic masculinity and how terrible it is but twitter is showing us the same ladies laughing at and liking tweets mocking this person minding their own business here… interesting,” said one commenter @Yxmikxni with several others echoing the sentiment:
Chidzy was particularly upset that even though he’s not gay, it gave him a window into the sort of harassment LGBTQ people get all the time.
“I support the LGBTQ community and as a heterosexual person, it actually hurt me more knowing how LGBTQ people get treated out there for being who they are. I was doing this just for banter and I got this abuse. Now imagine what abuse someone who actually does this everyday gets?”
And as hard as it can be for any man to open up about taking care of their appearance, Chidzy reckons it’s an even harder situation for men of colour.
“It’s pretty obvious why people were so triggered. It’s the homophobic mentality that’s in most black people and because I’m a black man. If I were a white man who’d done this, people would have just scrolled past.
“As a man of colour, the moment you even put on a face mask you’re automatically labelled as a fruity guy.”
But the reaction wasn’t all negative; he also got a load of comments from admiring fans praising him and giving him a few helpful pointers.
Ifka Nolasha commented: “He is so put together. Skin clear and shining like no one’s business! Eye brows on point! Beard nice and trimmed and lined up! What kinda sorcery?!”
And Tsaone said: “Slay those eyebrows young king.”
“The positive comments made me happy,” Chidzy says. “Some of the advice people gave me was so sweet. I even had some girls direct messaging me saying that I shouldn’t listen to the negative comments.”
We salute you, Chidzy. Men taking care of themselves is a simple thing but, as this little controversy proves, it can still be really, really powerful.
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(Images: Young Chidzy)