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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Man Up Son: Articulating the Conflict of Fatherhood and Skincare Advice

Published: May 27, 2020


Angela Byrne, Manchester Metropolitan University


Masculinities; Fatherhood; Advertising


Intergenerational differences are explored in this qualitative study exploring the dynamics of fathers and sons in the use of men’s skincare and the influence of advertisers on how this consumption practice is represented. A series of twenty semi-structured interviews and two focus groups form the data collection for this study. From the results, there is evidence of reverse consumer socialisation taking place by sons encouraging their fathers to appropriate skincare as a routine. The influence of advertising is highlighted as continuing to provide unhelpful notions of masculinity that serve to reinforce ‘hegemonic masculinity’ (Connell, 2005) ideals conflicting with changing societal influences. For change to truly take place in terms of males adopting potentially feminising practices such as using facial skincare, then advertisers need to rethink their approach.


Thank you to Prof Ben Kerrane for your valuable insights and guidance on this paper.