Today we celebrate the birthday of arguably one of the most dynamic musical icons of our time. Prince Rogers Nelson, known to us as simply Prince, was a trailblazer and pioneer, not only in music, but in beauty and fashion. With his refusal to be boxed into societal norms and notions of masculinity, he redefined for many what a man looks like. Though many questioned his sexuality as a result of his beauty and fashion choices, even in a time where long hair, eyeliner and nail polish was typical wear for musicians (and even though he was always surrounded by a bevy of gorgeous women, many of which he was rumored to have bedded), he forged on, staying true to his aesthetic and definition of beauty and gender.
Not subscribing to gender norms made him a hero to generations that will never know what it is to see Prince perform live, but who understand the importance of living in one’s truth, and who also benefit from the boldness of his choices. So on the day that he entered the world, we salute Prince and look at just a handful of the times (because really we could go on and on) that he reminded us that makeup and hair products are not just for the ladies. He constantly gave us looks that we treasured like diamonds and pearls. And on some occasions, put yours, your mama’s, and your sister’s blowouts to shame.
50th Annual Grammy Awards
Prince was bringing back the pompadour years before it became trendy with Hollywood ladies.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
BBC Radio in London
Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows ain’t got nothing on these full bushes.
Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Super Bowl XLI Half Time Show
He reminded us that the show goes on rain or shine, and that a cute scarf can make a look work.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc
38th Annual NAACP Image Awards
The artist was constantly showing your auntie and her friends how to update that short cut.
Vince Bucci/Getty Images
Performing At Wembley Arena In London
Sweating out his blowout, sweating out his press, and still fresher than you.
2015 American Music Awards
He hit the carpet with a full beat and full ‘fro to complement his royal ensemble.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
In Rotterdam With Sheila E. and Cat
Prince and his lady entourage were giving us #squadgoals before it was a hashtag.
31st Annual People’s Choice Awards
He also made skin envy officially a thing with his dewy flawless face.
Performing In Los Angeles
Proving that the right hold spray can mean everything for your curls holding up.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
2013 Billboard Music Awards
It warmed our hearts to see him looking beautiful and happy in a TWA and winged eyeliner.
77th Annual Academy Awards
His edges were so perfectly naturally laid in a way that even the best edge control can’t achieve.
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
2011 MusiCares Person Of The Year Tribute To Barbra Streisand
Prince showed us that a light beat can go a long way.
Performing At Wembley
With that wind-in-the-hair blowout that is a concert go-to for today’s biggest pop stars.