Written by Kelsey Dickerson, College Life Editor
On Oct. 11 CoverGirl tweeted out an announcement of their newest CoverGirl, who just so happened to be a boy.
The newest face of CoverGirl, James Charles, known to his followers as jcharelsbeauty is a 17-year-old Instagram-famous beauty guru who, according to his Instagram account, has only been using makeup on himself for a year.
Charles first garnered media attention for a Twitter post from his senior picture appointment where he brought his own ring-light. “So I retook my senior photos and brought my ring light with me so my highlight would be poppin’. I love being extra,” he said in the picture caption.
The new CoverGirl campaign includes Katy Perry, and has received mixed reactions.
Most comments on CoverGirl’s twitter announcement were positive, congratulatory replies, but some users seem to take issue with Charles’s gender. “You’re a boy in drag, not a woman. You don’t even fit the byline of the company. Who is this for? Not women.” said one woman in reply to COVERGIRL’s announcement post.
But other users had no issue with Charles’s gender identity, only that CoverGirl hadn’t chosen a more seasoned and professional artist. “omg WHY!???!?! This is what is wrong with the beauty industry!!! Pic a hard working real talented lic pro!” commented one user.
CoverGirl’s decision to hire a male as their newest face is a good step towards breaking down United States gender barriers that deal with masculinity and beauty, but their intentions seem questionable. The campaign seems gimmicky, if CoverGirl wanted to highlight men in beauty, why didn’t they feature an older, more experienced male makeup artist?
If CoverGirl was trying to show that anyone could do makeup, it seems like they tried to cram too many groups onto one person. CoverGirl should have thought to feature multiple boys in makeup, both seasoned veterans and new artists to show that men using makeup is not a new trend, but has been around for decades.
While their motives were questionable, their example is one to be followed. More beauty-centric magazines need to recognize and celebrate men in beauty.