Man-scara, guy-liner and man-tan are all part of a growing market, so I wasn't surprised to be asked to help launch a new 'gender fluid' make up brand - west country based sports Hai. But I have to admit to being slightly taken aback when I was told it was to be modelled by a 20 year old male boxer.
Dean Dodge is a classic 'pretty boy' and my first thought on meeting him was "what if an opponent breaks that lovely face?" In a radio interview he said he enters the ring to win but also wants to ‘stay pretty’. (He's a good boxer, so I'm sure he will achieve that.) His opponents seem unbothered by his image. But then maybe 20 year olds are more comfortable in their sexuality than they were when I was younger, or perhaps we have evolved as a society to pay less attention to gender stereotypes. I hope so. The photoshoot, consisting of mainly 20 year olds, was certainly evidence that both are true for this generation.
The brand is aimed at all sports people so there were not just male and female boxers, but also a pentathlete, a show jumper, personal trainers and a tennis player. Being a bit of a gym bunny I had my make-up done too and the results were so good the face recognition on my iPhone X actually locked me out.
Photographer Millie Pilkington.
The day in Millie's studio was really quite inspiring. Sport HAI's developer Grace Hilliar is so driven and focused on what she wants to achieve from the brand that all of us - the photographer, the models, this PR, the web designer, the make up artist - were quite swept up in her enthusiasm. Grace's view is that in our social media age we all want to look our best at all times, even doing gruelling sport.
Image is all and why should boxers be any different?