Representation and Consumption Throughout Social Media: Manny Gutierrez (Manny MUA)
Dania Mumtaz“Men should not wear makeup,” is a phrase that most of society is familiar with. For centuries, the expectation for men has been to express masculine and heterosexual behavior. The consequences of disobeying these norms have been known to be fatal. In today’s society, gay male beauty bloggers have been dominating the beauty industry. I chose this media text because YouTube has become a platform for a freedom of expression, creativity and individuality. Male beauty bloggers’ successful YouTube channels have given them the voice to spread change within society. “The Handbook of Gender, Sex and Media,” by Karen Ross, explains, “Since the start of the ‘modern’ lesbian and gay movement in the early 1970s, the activists and academics have criticized the lack of mainstream images of sexual minorities as well as their stereotypical and negative nature” (Ross, pg.262). The lack of LGBT representation within the media has recently been shifting towards a positive light as LGBT individuals continue to make a bold statement throughout all media platforms.
According to fortunelords.com, there are 1,300,000,000 people who use YouTube. This evidently portrays the large outreach the YouTube platform has gained since 2005. Manny Gutierrez, also known as, Manny MUA, has taken over the beauty blogging scene with his professional makeup skills. Manny was born in San Diego, California and began his YouTube career in 2014. His YouTube channel focuses on makeup tutorials and reviews, with an astounding 2.7 million followers. Manny has risen in fame since the start of his career and continues to gain a larger following as he reaches new heights within society.
Manny focuses more on being himself within the media and society. After watching several of his videos, most people can conclude that Manny’s combination of personality and talent have built his success. He is presented as an inspiration for many within the LGBT community and gives hope to those who share the same passion. Manny depicts himself in two different ways. He usually portrays himself in his full glam look and at other times he portrays himself in his masculine look. Although he portrays himself physically in different ways, his outgoing and bold personality remains the same. According to heavy.com, “Gutierrez said wearing makeup makes him feel empowered,” which is why Manny decided to commit to his career as a beauty guru on YouTube. Being himself within the media has allowed him to find his strength and use it to positively influence others throughout society.
As a gay male, people have interpreted Manny in several ways within the media. His YouTube videos reach to about two million views and accumulate many comments that represent how the public truly views him. Most of his followers find him extremely humorous, flamboyant, and inspiring. For example, some comments include “I swear Manny slays 24/7 no matter what he does to his face,” and “He is so funny. I must admit, I adore him”(YouTube). Most of the comments on his videos include his followers praising his makeup skills and his personality. Although there are mainly positive comments, there are negative comments as well. There are some people who have made comments regarding his gay identification, his feminine character and his use of makeup. There have been enough negative comments that have made Manny feel obligated to make the statement, “If you don’t like me, don’t watch my videos,” in the introduction of every one of his videos. This expresses the negativity that surrounds the LGBT community and how society has not yet completely accepted the LGBT presence within the media. Manny’s followers are usually very quick to defend him against any discriminating comments left on his channel. His followers are extremely supportive of the LGBT community and play a contributing part towards promoting positive change within the media and society.
In addition to his followers praising him for his skills, women also praise him for his appearance. For example, comments on his videos include, “Manny I know you don't like women but omg you are SO HOT!” and “Manny you are so handsome and I wish you were straight. Does anybody else cringe when he says he doesn’t like girls?” This can also be a factor in why he has accumulated his large female following. This reaction among his female followers is more evident when he shows his masculine look. This allows his followers to remain satisfied with receiving a little of both sides of Manny. Manny isn’t afraid to be himself and his followers appreciate him immensely for that.
The website, heavy.com, further reports that Manny commented, ‘“I get hate every single day, saying I’m gay [and] going to hell, or that I don’t know what I’m doing or that I need help.”’ Despite the fact that he still has to deal with negativity in the media, Manny has defied all odds and has accomplished impressive achievements. For example, Manny was recently named the the face of Maybelline as their first ever male beauty star. Manny’s slogan, “I think boys deserve just as much recognition,” has inspired Maybelline to view Manny as the perfect candidate to showcase their brand, while representing support for the LGBT community. According to adweek.com, “For Maybelline, Manny encourages viewers of all genders to "lash like a boss.”’ (Natividad, 2017).
Evidently, Manny is passionate about making a difference and promoting change within society. These achievements not only affect him, but the entire LGBT community as well. Manny acts with purpose and is interpreted in a positive way throughout all platforms. He is the perfect example of how gay males are now leading successful lives through the media and illustrates a possible bright future for the LGBT community within an accepting society.
Ross, Karen. The Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Media. N.p.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Print.
Famous Birthdays. "Manny Gutierrez - Youtube Star." Famous Birthdays. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2017. <http://www.famousbirthdays.com/people/manny-mua.html>.
FortuneLords. "36 Mindblowing YouTube Facts, Figures and Statistics - 2017l." FortuneLords. N.p., 23rd Mar. 2017. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://fortunelords.com/youtube-statistics/>.
Manny MUA. "Drugstore One Brand Tutorial - Wet n Wild | Manny Mua." YouTube. N.p., 5 Apr. 2017. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEAPsjzaktY>.
Natividad, Angela. "Maybelline Recruits Manny Gutierrez as Its First Male Beauty Star. Adweek. N.p., 10 Jan. 2017. Web. 12 Apr. 2017. <http://www.adweek.com/creativity/maybelline-gets-manny-gutierrez-star-its-first-male-beauty-star-175430/>