Advances in Social Behavior Research

Advances in Social Behavior Research

ASBR ICEIPI 2022, 03 March 2023

Open Access | Article

Boys and Beauty: Male Makeup Influencers in Tik Tok – A U.S. and China Comparison

Jiaxin Tan * 1 , Pei Yang 2 , Zimo Wang 3
1 School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, V5A 1S6, Canada
2 School of Art and Design, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, China
3 Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, Kingston, 18704, U.S.

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Advances in Social Behavior Research, ASBR ICEIPI 2022, 325-337
Published 03 March 2023. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by EWA Publishing
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Citation Jiaxin Tan, Pei Yang, Zimo Wang. Boys and Beauty: Male Makeup Influencers in Tik Tok – A U.S. and China Comparison. ASBR (2023) ASBR ICEIPI 2022: 325-337.


Tik Tok, also known as Dou Yin in its Chinese version, has had a growing reputation in the social networking world since its launching in September 2016. While there are numerous content categories on Tik Tok that attract the many views and likes, beauty and skincare are within the top ten most popular content attracting billions of views. In what used-to-be female influencers dominated field, we witnessed the substantial growth of male makeup influencers with a proportion of them successfully integrated into the worldwide beauty market with high reputation and fame. The objective of this study is to analyze the differences between American and Chinese male makeup influencers as a means to reflect how they differ in aesthetic preference and social factors when creating beauty-related contents. This study employed a mixed-method with both content analyses of the Tik Tok posts as well as a structured scoring system for the appearance of the influencers. The results of the scoring are 7.1 for U.S. influencers and 7.2 for Chinese influencers. Both countries have a very similar feminine appearance with Chinese influencers resulting a slight higher scoring than U.S. influencers. The conclusion of this study rests on the fact that both American and Chinese influencers are emerging in this arena with their own definition of beauty using makeup and other beauty-related products; though they exemplified certain differences in aesthetics preference of appearance, they demonstrated a beauty revolution that is unseen before – through social media which aim to challenge how the society perceive beauty and gender presentation.


Dou Yin, China U.S. comparison, male makeup influencers, Beauty, Tik Tok, social media.


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Data Availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study will be available from the authors upon reasonable request.

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