Even in walking down the aisle at a pharmacy, it's abundantly clear that the gender binary is very much a thing: women’s razors, men’s razors; women’s body wash, men’s body wash. At department stores, there's a similar effect: women’s shoes, men’s shoes; women’s clothes, men’s clothes. And though makeup isn’t in a section explicitly labeled “women’s,” that’s largely because it’s only been acceptable in mainstream society for folks assigned female at birth to express themselves using the products. TooD Beauty, a nonbinary beauty brand, aims to change that.
It's worth mentioning that gender inclusivity in beauty isn’t a new concept. But, with an estimated 1.2 million people identifying as nonbinary, it’s certainly worth exploring and widening access to with the goal to create a market where everyone and every body is represented equally.
In the most recent episode of The Well+Good Podcast, which continues a series of discussions in honor of Women's History Month this March, Shari Siadat, founder of TooD Beauty, shared why feminism and gender inclusivity are central to the brand's intentions. “It is our responsibility as humans to help create an inclusive world, where our differences are not made to feel like we need to shape-shift on that journey,” says Siadat.
Listen to the full episode here.
Siadat rejects the widely believed notion that only certain people are allowed to wear makeup because using mascara, blush, and lipstick, she says, is purely an ungendered expression of the self. This realization is what gave way to her nonbinary and gender-inclusive beauty brand, which features cis, trans, and nonbinary people in its marketing.
“Creator energy is nonbinary.” —Shari Siadat, founder TooD Beauty
Regardless of whether you cake it on or keep it light, makeup is a form of creation—and the process of creating also knows no gender. “Creator energy is nonbinary,” says Siadat. “And we’re all creators, so we all need the tools to self-express.”
With that in mind, TooD intends to preserve and celebrate freedom of all sorts. Siadat says celebrating freedom is contagious and achieved through taking a critical lens to what people believe about themselves. “I just want to remove restriction,” Siadat says. “TooD is more about taking away what’s been passed on to us versus doing anything else…We want to make everyone feel included, and we want to not have the patriarchal standard of top-down [by] bringing power to and from, instead of power over [people].”
Ultimately, Siadat’s hope is to live in a world where people’s physical appearance isn’t ascribed a value outside individual and authentic expression. “There’s nothing hotter than being so comfortable and free in your skin,” she says. “That’s [something] that you can’t purchase in a bottle…That is the most liberating form of beauty that exists.”
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