A couple months ago, Maybelline, purveyors of my favorite (and therefore most-purchased and most-used) drugstore concealer, announced that MannyMUA as a new, “face,” of Maybelline.
What This Post is Not
This post is not commentary on the presence of men in the beauty community. It doesn’t bother me that some gentlemen enjoy cosmetics. That just means we have something in common. Manny Fans: If you’re reading, this isn’t a Roast of MannyMUA, but there is critical content. Keep the comments classy, thanks.
What This Post Is
The aim of this post is instead to comment on the judgment and business decision-making. The partnership between Maybelline and Manny was surprising to me. Although MannyMUA is a popular beauty YouTube personality, he has been embroiled in several incidents in the fairly-recent past.
In media, or perhaps even in our personal lives, we’ve observed the, “catty, sassy gay guy.” Sometimes it’s lighthearted and serves as comic relief. Sometimes it is perhaps a defense mechanism. Sometimes it can be funny. A lot of the times, though, it is bitchy behavior that crosses the line from snicker-inducing to downright nasty. Regrettably, Manny’s conduct checks many of the boxes associated with the negative aspects of that stereotype. There’s no other way to say it.
Beyond that, he uses profanity as filler in the same way some people say, “um,” to buffer their thoughts in a sentence. More accurately, it seems to be in a trying-too-hard attempt to seem edgy. I’m not remotely one to shy away from profanity; I’d argue that I give sailors a run for their money, even…but not when I am working, which, let’s face it – that’s what his videos are for him: his job.
In all, Manny’s willing to go hard with those negative behaviors does not paint a positive image for a company.
If you’ve heard of him, you’ve heard of the Gerard incident. While visiting the owner, Manny was on Snapchat when he and the owner were viewing some content critical of Gerard’s products. Realistically, what was said (and broadcast) should have never been said in the first place. That being the case, Manny’s lack of common sense using Snapchat during private conversations is ultimately what threw them into the fire.
When he came under fire, he issued a non-apology. Not, “I’m sorry for saying those things about that customer, it was unprofessional and hurtful” but, “I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt or offend anyone.” The non-apology was worded in such a way to cast doubt that any misconduct took place.
None of this is to say that Manny can’t redeem himself, or that he shouldn’t be able to work. Unfortunately, his behavior has not sufficiently changed to indicate he has learned from his mistakes. He’s just not there yet.
The Bottom Line on Maybelline and Manny
Frankly, I’m confused that Maybelline would want to be represented by someone who, to this point, has demonstrated poor behavior towards fans, subscribers, and customers. That a strong brand like Maybelline would take the risk is incomprehensible to me.
Even now, he’s making content in which he seems to be surprised at the quality of Maybelline’s products – as if he’d never used them. I’m not sure if this is put-on or not, but frankly, it is embarrassing coming from someone who is expected to represent the company. I wonder if they’re regretting their decision?
As for me, I’m not planning to boycott Maybelline for this, I just find it to be a curious choice. Hopefully nothing bad comes of it.