Breaking Gender Stereotypes – One Eye Look At A Time

Breaking Gender Stereotypes – One Eye Look At A Time


One fine day, scrolling down my rather colorful assortment of Instagram feed, I came across a very similarly taken picture used by makeup artists on Instagram. What caught my attention, however, was the name “Madeupshaheer” stood out to me as my first, real example of a male makeup artist.

Say Hello to the Amazing Makeup Artist!

Meet Shaheer Khan, a 20-year-old English major student from Multan who enjoys winters, grapes, pineapple, and watermelon! His favorite genre of music is Alt/RnB with artists like SZA, Bjork, Tinashe FKA Twigs top of the list.

The Tipping Point of Shaheer’s Career

His journey in makeup started a year ago when he came across Guilianna Maria’s Instagram profile. He was inspired by her video tutorials where she shares her creative process of how she achieves her looks. Fast forward to his birthday, he got gifted with a generous amount of makeup products from a friend he used to watch makeup tutorials with. But even before this, he tells of how as a child, makeup for him was a form of self-expression.
“I believe I was three years old when I first used my mother’s lipstick and blusher all over face. This fascination with makeup embedded itself within me ever since, but I didn’t let it out or do something about it until 2016”.

Breaking Stereotypes

Pakistani is not the only country that suffers from a chronic case of “toxic” masculinity. Over the years, however, the conversations have started springing up in our society in redefining what it means to be a “man”. Patriarchal notions of what men should do, appear like and behave like have been setting off multiple dialogues on how it is harming men as well as women in stepping forward as a progressive society.

Looking at his journey, it was heartening to see someone redefine what “masculinity” is. While this trend has picked up more traction in the West, Pakistani is not far behind with notions where norms of being masculine are being challenged and reshaped. Shaheer’s journey in being able to expressively communicate his art through makeup is a welcome example in a conservative country like Pakistan. Looking at his one year journey, one can see how he has made significant progress in using colors, blending, transitioning, and even using geometric shapes and letters on his eyelids.

“Well my journey, so far, has been very pleasant for the most part. The love I’ve received on my work has far outweighed the negatives. My family, my peers at my university have been very supportive” he says.

It is no surprise to see a male figure using the medium of makeup. We have industry famous makeup artists that have made quite an impression on the fashion industry. For example Akif Illyas, Shahzad Raza, Tariq Amin became famous for their skill and expertise in the fashion industry. The reason Shaheer stood out was his bravery and courage in exhibiting his skills in makeup using himself as a canvas. When asked if he’s ever faced any criticism from trolls online Shaheer said,

“I don’t really wear makeup out in public and I doubt the reception being even minutely positive if I were to do so. I’ve had people, even the aforementioned supporters of mine, tell me to not be as flamboyant and expressive when it comes to my androgynous tendencies because the stigma around that is highly potent in our society”.

Here’s Why You Need to Follow Him!

His progression in skill in quite definitive over the course of one year. The journey also shows a spike in his confidence. His skills don’t just include using colors but he also uses glitter, really advanced eyeliner techniques and thematic makeup application to keep his skills polished and his creative process as unique as possible.

He also has some pictures of his friend who got a makeover done and it’s heartening to see them smiling and being happy. Some of his followers to create a comparison between him and Manny MUA, a California based makeup artist with his own line of makeup and a following of more than 2 million followers on YouTube.

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Quick 20 min glam on the beautiful @aftab_rida 💫

A post shared by Shaheer Khan (@madeupshaheer) on

Speaking to him through Instagram, he says, for now, he is focusing on getting his Ph.D. in Literature. “I’m very focused on my education along with my makeup career. For the makeup side, I am looking to build an adequate following online and to inspire others to their thing unabashedly. Avant garde makeup is where my heart lies” he says.