For the 14th BEAUTYfull post, we are super excited to welcome our second male subject!! With an often devious grin and an abundance of warmth that emanates from his eyes, Andres Gutierrez is a long-time beauty industry colleague of mine and more, a dear friend. Andres shares with us his personal experience with physical standards for men — and how those ideals affect his feelings about his body and appearance, in ways both good and bad. He also reveals why aging has helped, not hurt, his self-esteem.
BEHIND THE CONCEPT: What is BEAUTYfull™
Spread beauty. It’s our mission. And our goal in spreading beauty is that it reaches everyone. We believe beauty comes in all ages, races, genders, features, abilities, sizes, shapes, body types… in all the unique elements that form each of our unique whole. There is a FULL spectrum of BEAUTY and we all exist in it. With our own personal experiences, stories and voices. And with that, originated the concept of BEAUTYfull™.
For our 14th feature, we introduce to you… Andres Gutierrez.
THE 14th SUBJECT: Andres Gutierrez
Andres Gutierrez was born in Medellin, Colombia and raised in New York. He has worked in the Media/Publishing industry since 1998, starting with a People magazine internship he scored while completing his BBA at Baruch College. Over the past 19 years, Andres has worked at Time Inc, Hearst, Latina Media, Conde Nast and since July 2016 at Bustle Digital Group. So he knows firsthand how beauty and image is served up on glossy pages, in digital editorials and, of course, via social media.
When asked why he was interested in participating in BEAUTYfull, Andres responded, “I was drawn to this project because I have been an avid fan of Lauren Cosenza’s work since she launched DIVAlicious. When she announced the BEAUTYfull project at a time when the industry was just starting to fully embrace and celebrate true diversity in beauty and fashion, I was captivated by the stories.”
THE INTERVIEW: Andres on dad bod, telenovelas, big booty, David Hasselhoff, Ricky Martin, and the one word that sums up what beauty is to him.
Where do you think men get their cues about how they “should” look?
I am lucky that as a gay man living in NYC and in the Publishing industry, I am exposed to a lot of cues for men’s fashion — from IRL access to fashion week and street style inspiration to the various social media influencers. Therefore, I am able to pick up on the trends from fellow industry trendsetters such as editors. However, I am aware that the vast majority of men in the U.S. are getting their style cues from the retailers they shop whether it’s brick and mortar or online.
You covered style and fashion but where do men get their cues on how they should look physically? Under the clothes. In terms of their body, their face, their hair, aging…
We don’t necessarily seek out specific beauty cues on social media, magazines or TV. However, these are all the places we ultimately get our cues from… the movies, TV shows, online videos and articles we see and read trigger our physical cues on how we should look.
Can you describe the idealized standard of beauty/attractiveness for men as you see it today? What does the perfect man, as defined by Hollywood, entertainment and social media, look like?
I believe the idealized standard of men today is the David Beckham type. He must have a six-pack and be very fit but not a meathead or overly muscular. He has to be able to seamlessly transition from the fitted sweatpants and t-shirt to the fitted suit and tie. His hair adapts to the occasion: strategically messy for the day and slick and sharp for the evening.
How do you think most men compare to this standard, or feel about it? How do you personally?
In top cities like NYC, LA or Miami, this type of man is very common. Outside of these cities, not so much. There is definitely a trend across the country for men to be as equally motivated as women to be in excellent body shape because it’s all you see across media campaigns, social media and publishers’ print and online content. There is now as much pressure on men (gay or straight) to have zero body fat as there has always been for women. I personally have always struggled with fitting this mold because as much as I have always tried to be fit, my body just does not respond to exercise the way I dream it should. Therefore, I can try and eat zero carbs and take Soul Cycle classes 3 to 4 times a week and still I will never be able to wear the fitted t-shirts/button-down shirts that are part of the evolved metrosexual trends.
How does that make you feel? That you don’t believe really hard work and a great diet could ever even get you to a physical standard that has been dictated by society as ideal/desirable?
It’s very frustrating to know I could never reach that ideal standard and to an extent I feel very helpless. However, since I know it’s not something I have full control over, I don’t let it affect me beyond those “ reminder” moments when I am in front of a mirror, a camera or at a pool/beach.
When you were younger, was it important to see men in Hollywood or advertising or in music or the modeling world who looked like you and/or reflected your lifestyle?
Absolutely! I grew up in a Latino household where we watched telenovelas with mom and ironically all of the lead actors were blonde, light-eyed white men. Then came the Baywatch phenomenon. And so on. To this day, the only actor I see and feel I could relate to in style is Edgar Ramirez. He also has the big thigh problem I have. Luckily for me, Edgar has been getting more roles in Hollywood and therefore more press attention, so I can be inspired by his fashion looks.
In talking about Edgar Ramirez’ success, you seem happy about it because he can give you style inspo. But what about his success and breaking body type molds if he has bigger thighs… Does that matter to you? Seeing more diverse body types?
Yes, of course seeing more diverse body types helps… but in the end – who are you seeing in the underwear campaigns? It’s not the “diverse” body types. It’s what the media helps dictate is the aspirational body type, i.e. the very unattainable Rafa Nadal. To see a “dad bod” in a campaign like that would be great but I know it’s too big of a risk for sales.
Was it important to see gay men reflected in these industries?
When you are a minority of any sort, it does help to see people like you reflected across all industries. It helps with feeling accepted and that you can assimilate but I do not necessarily feel that I could only takes cues from gay men. It’s good to see the organic inclusion.
Is it important to you now?
With age comes confidence and I can honestly say that it no longer matters as much because I have come to terms with MY style and MY body shape. It does not mean I love it. But I fully accept it and I work with what I have. In the end, I know that if it was truly that important to me, I would have accomplished it by now – but it requires so much work and time that I rather put towards more important things to me like spending time with family and friends. However, I know there will always be a part of me that wishes I could magically do something to have those Hollywood abs!
How do you think social media plays in with both impossible — and in many instances, retouched to perfection — physical standards on the one side and the democratization and diversification of those standards on the other? How does social media affect your views on your appearance?
Interesting! While social media has allowed for the democratization of beauty and style overall, it has also contributed to more insecurities in people that end up having major FOMO if they don’t look like the people they see in these very retouched photos or living the fabulous lives that many people tend to project. It takes a lot of self-confidence and awareness to realize what is real and what is not.
Who were your first icons, physically speaking? Who do you view as an icon now?
I love pop culture so when you ask icons, my mind will think of celebs. Having said that, one of my first ones was David Hasselhoff because I wanted to be as tall as him! LOL. Then reality sank in and through the years the one I most view as an icon, physically speaking, is Ricky Martin. I just love that like a fine wine, he gets better with age! And yes, I know he has a million things easily accessible to help him age gracefully, but it’s still worth noting that he does not overdo it…. just like JLo!
What do you love about yourself physically? Why?
I love my thick thighs and butt because it’s a very Latino trait and it’s something that I have in common with many of my family members from my mom’s side – the big booty. It’s also a common trait for soccer players so oftentimes in the summer people have thought that I was a soccer player…. and that is a HUGE compliment for me because I would have loved to have been good at playing soccer. Sadly, I sucked at all sports!
What have you felt pressure to change or alter, or have you otherwise struggled with or felt insecure about?
My weight overall – which is mostly reflected in my belly. Forget having a six-pack…. I just want love handles to never exist!
When do you feel best about yourself? What makes you feel like your best self?
There is no set formula for when I feel best about myself. It varies for me. It can be when I am rocking a new look or when I find an old pair of jeans and sweater or when I am on the way to a fun night out with friends or a romantic date with my boyfriend.
When don’t you feel best about yourself? What makes you feel not your best self?
I do not feel best about myself when I have to shower in a gym because that is when I am reminded that I don’t have the toned body I always wished I had.
What is your beauty regimen? Has it changed over your life?
- Face: Wash daily. Moisturize daily. Night cream 3-4 times a week.
- Face scrub: 2 times a week.
- Hair: Wet daily. Wash with shampoo/conditioner: 3-4 times per week.
- Hair mask: Once a week.
- Nails: Weekly manicure/pedicure.
- Eyebrows: Every 6-8 weeks.
Who is beautiful to you?
My mom. I love seeing how she won’t leave home without makeup or how she always wants to make sure she has lipstick on if she will be in a picture. I just love that at 76 years old, she is still vain. It shows me that one should never stop caring about making sure you look good… whatever that is to you!
What is beautiful to you?
To me, beauty is confidence. I see it in the girl that rocks her natural curls or the guy that shaves his head after signs of hair loss. To be able to embrace what you have AND furthermore make it a signature statement is very beautiful to me and it shows confidence!
For more BEAUTYfull interviews, click HERE.
Lauren Cosenza is the creator and editor-in-chief of DIVAlicious, a trusted beauty/fashionexpert, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a leading NYC-based professional makeup artist, a published contributor and writer, a brand consultant, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines.
Serving up style with a side of attitude, her site DIVAlicious gives women (and men) the confidence and permission to be fabulous. The site, with a goal to SPREAD BEAUTY, is filled with must-have products, pro tips and tricks, how-to DIY tutorials, makeovers, style inspiration and insider access. Topics range from beauty, fashion, culture, career, fitness, wellbeing, men’s and unisex offerings.
Stephanie Stanley (or Stephania, as her Greek family calls her) is a New York City-based advertising and editorial photographer who specializes in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Her work can be found on ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, TODAY, DailyCandy, and TeenVogue. Her client list includes Levi’s, JCPenney, Clean & Clear, Microsoft, Olay, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Garnier, TRESemmé, Estée Lauder, Nexxus, GAP, Secret, and more.
Stephanie holds an MFA in Photography from Parsons and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and puppy, Ophelia, where she can be found running along Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoying chocolate croissants from the local Italian bakery (typically in that exact order).