I guess we should have all seen this coming, CoverGirl just made an epic move. From RuPaul’s Drag Race and transgender stars in mainstream movies and t.v. shows to Jaden Smith being the face of a women’s clothing line, the feminization and normalization of non-gender conforming looks continues with the debut of CoverGirl’s newest spokesmodel.
17-year-old James Charles of Bethlehem, NY is now the newest face of CoverGirl Cosmetics. Charles caught the attention of the nation when his senior class photo went viral after Charles not only showed up in full makeup, but with his own light ring to get the perfect highlight. His tweet of the photo was reshared nearly 40,000 times and “loved” over 95,000 times. The teen has been on Instagram and YouTube since last year showing off his contour skills, giving make up tips and uploading video tutorials.
Charles addition to the CoverGirl team was announced by none other than Katy Perry, who is also a spokesmodel for the well-known cosmetic brand. Perry posted a photo with her and James along with the caption “Just wrapped another great @COVERGIRL shoot. Honored to have the pleasure to announce the very first COVERBOY, James Charles! Follow him @JCharlesBeauty! #COVERGIRLJames #glam!”
The first campaign James will be on is for CoverGirl’s new mascara line, “So Lashy!” In a released statement CoverGirl said, “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.” The statement went on to read “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 women, men, guys and girls who might have been afraid to do the same.”
This is a huge move for any makeup brand. For decades, cosmetic lines have marketed to half of the population, women. We live in a society that as a whole recognizes that many among us are gay, transsexual and transgender. It would be unthinkable for a business to not try to take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to a whole new demographic. So many LGBTQ males have only had female role models to look up to as far as makeup and beauty routines. It won’t be long before other major cosmetic lines follow suit. This is the new norm.
“I am so beyond excited and overwhelmed and happy and astonished and of course, SHOOK, to announce that I am the newest face of @covergirl James wrote in his personal Instagram announcement post. “First ever male ambassador for the brand and I am so honored and excited to be working with such an iconic brand.”
Charles, an internet sensation has over 76,000 twitter followers and more than 91,000 YouTube subscribers plus an amazing 640,000+ Instagram followers. A makeup master, Charles has not only mastered day to day makeup and full drag makeup styles but also special effect style makeup as well. With his skill and talent, he could literally work on any movie or television set that he wanted. If you think his makeup is flawless, you should see his nails.
James has only been perfecting his makeup artistry for a year, the teen found his parents and family at first had a hard time understanding his love of makeup. They even questioned if he planned to live as a transgender woman. The teen doesn’t have such aspirations however, telling Marie Claire “My parents started questioning me about whether or not I was transgender — whether or not I was trying to be a woman. It was a big argument,” Charles added “It took a lot of thorough conversations to explain that it’s an art form for me. I’m still confident as a boy and I will always be a boy. I can be confident with bare skin and with a full face.” Kudos to him.
A recent post on the teens Instagram page showed him in full makeup and drag regalia as he teased his fans “RuPaul’s Drag Race, here I come” I have no doubt he could make the show if he wants or tries, the boy was fierce. If he makes the cut, I’ll surely tune in.