After nearly 60 years of having girls as the face of their brand, James Charles, a 17-year old high school male senior from New York, joins the lineup of Covergirl’s models.
It all began when he did makeup for the first time on a friend for a school dance, resulting in a surprisingly stunning outcome that would be the genesis of a newfound passion. From that instance on, James continued: buying starter sets, charging money for others if they wanted to get their makeup done as well, and using those profits for better equipment. One year later, here he is, the newest face of Covergirl… A Coverboy, if you will.
A great amount of his fame can be attributed to an Instagram post about his senior pictures, in which he brought his own lighting to better showcase his makeup for the big day. The post went viral. On Twitter, actress Zendaya tweeted it and commented “You win??.”
But why is all of this buzz around the first “Coverboy” a big deal?
In society today, a bias regarding the inappropriate showcasing of masculinity or femininity prevails. Society expects women to be smiling, polite, and feminine in the sense of dress and mannerisms. The idea of dressing more masculine is still not as widely accepted as it may seem, indictated by name-calling of “tomboy” and younger girls being told that they should “dress nicer,” as in dresses and skirts.
Inversely, men are commonly expected to epitomize masculinity, and any sort of emotional sensitivity is discouraged. Any association with traditionally feminine colors (pinks, pastels, etc.) is frowned upon, and any “feminine” clothing is normally prohibited (skirts, dresses).
In reality, makeup, clothing, and children’s toys are all genderless. Whether something is pink or blue does not make any person less than who they are. Apparel choice does not change what gender someone identifies with. Femininity and masculinity are traits, and one is not of lesser value than the other.
The fact that the makeup industry is making strides in a more progressive and all-inclusive direction will definitely not only affect current society, but also future generations for years to come.