By Michaela Felix
17-year-old beauty sensation James Charles
Cosmetics giant CoverGirl has taken the plunge in tapping male ambassadors to be the face of their beauty brand. The honor of the first ever CoverBoy now belongs to James Charles, a seventeen year old male from New York who has amassed a large social media following after posting his beauty looks on Instagram and YouTube a year ago.
The company’s Twitter account announced this past Tuesday that Charles would be their newest CoverGirl now alongside the current CoverGirls Katy Perry, Zendaya, and Janelle Monae.
— COVERGIRL (@COVERGIRL) October 11, 2016
“Hopefully other people will see this, and when they think, “Oh, this random 17-year-old kid just started doing makeup recently and is now the face of CoverGirl,” I hope that inspires them to really be themselves and feel comfortable and wear makeup and express themselves in a manner they haven’t been comfortable doing before”, Charles explained to The New York Times.
The announcement is a huge step in breaking the gender barriers associated not only in the beauty industry but also the fashion industry. While male beauty gurus have not been a foreign concept, they’ve been on the rise in more recent years.
Covergirl is not the first cosmetics company to reach out to male beauty vloggers. Popular male beauty guru Manny Gutierrez of MannyMUA collaborated with MakeUpGeek this past year to create a limited edition eyeshadow palette. Other notable male beauty influences with beauty campaigns include Patrick Simondac of the channel Patrick Starrr (was featured as part of Benefit Cosmetics re-branded eyebrow product launch earlier this year) , Jeffree Starr (who started his own cosmetics line in 2014), and 18-year-old Bretman Rock (partnered with Eyeris Beauty to release his own false eyelashes line this past summer).
Breaking traditional gender barriers has been a matter tackled numerous times this year. From Jaden Smith’s Louis Vuitton Women’s Spring 2016 campaign to Young Thug’s “Jeffrey” album covering featuring him in a VFILES dress. The rapper has appeared in dresses numerous times and has spoken out against the concept of gender.
Rapper Young Thug wearing a kimono/Antebellum South inspired garment on the cover of his latest album “Jeffrey”
Wearing dresses in both his Dazed Magazine shoot and his Calvin Klein campaign, Young Thug is no stranger to pushing societal norms.
The topic of masculinity is still so fragile in our society and there is still so much work to be done but with these trailblazers, we are surely on our way to completely breaking down society’s established gender norms.