From conquering the makeup world of YouTube and Instagram to his high school’s hallways, James Charles is the first boy to be the face of CoverGirl Cosmetics. Charles will be among the many famous faces that have collaborated with Covergirl in the past such as, Katy Perry, Zendaya, Taylor Swift, and Drew Barrymore (just to name a few). Not only is Charles the first male to be the face of CoverGirl, but also the cosmetic line’s first non-celebrity spokesmodel. CoverGirl’s assignment of Charles not only opens door for more social media celebrity endorsement but also, broadens gender boundaries of makeup and fashion.
James Charles, a 17-year-old, high school senior, from Bethlehem, New York, has gained 700,000 followers on Instagram and 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, and is now shifting the gender expectations and inspiring other boys to follow their passions in beauty.
Regarding CoverGirl’s choice of Charles for the new spokesmodel, the brand stated, “All of our CoverGirls are role models and boundary-breakers, fearlessly expressing themselves, standing up for what they believe and redefining what it means to be beautiful. James Charles is no exception. One year ago, he boldly chose to launch his Instagram to the world, using transformative, dynamic makeup looks to showcase the many facets of his personality, serving as an inspiration to anyone who might have been afraid to do the same.”
In an interview with New York Times, James Charles stated that not only do many guys want to try makeup but “the population of boys in the industry is growing as well. As more and more guys come to light, the way the Internet is, there will be people who don’t agree.” Online bullying will always be a problem, but as makeup is becoming more accepted, “it’s going to take so much more open-mindedness to have [boys wearing makeup] be a common thing.”
Charles went on to say that, “The fact that I am the first boy is so cool. It shows that this industry is actually becoming genderless, and we’re really making the push toward equal opportunities for everybody, regardless of race, sexuality, gender.” He also hopes that others will be inspired by his representation of the makeup brand and comfortably express themselves, no matter the gender.
Recently, CoverGirl hasn’t been the only one defying the boundaries of gender within the industry. Jaden Smith was Louis Vuitton’s face for the fashion house’s women’s wear campaign. Patrick Starr has collaborated with Formula X and NYX; Manny Gutierrez, also know as Manny Mua, collaborated with Makeup Geek and Ofra Cosmetics.
Boys representing brands, posting videos of their highlighting techniques and inspiring others to confidently contour their cheekbones around their mustaches will help expand the limitations of gender within the beauty and fashion industry. James Charles, CoverGirl and many other makeup brands and bloggers are shaping the future of makeup to be accessible and enjoyable for everyone.