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ABSTRACT

Although the Internet has opened up new avenues for identity expression, many web-based sources have yet to be examined. Online testimonials as a form word-of-mouth advertising are a relatively new development. The present study examines the construction of masculinities in men's cosmetics adverting testimonials presented on the website of a leading brand. The dataset is examined using discursive psychology and membership categorization analysis methodologies. The findings indicate that when men write facial cosmetics testimonials they still justify the use of these non-typical masculine products even in the absence of others’ responses. The analysis highlights the continued difficulty men report in using typically feminized products, frequently accounting for their cosmetic use as a "corrective" measure rather than for beautification. The implications for the marketing of masculine products are discussed.