Easy, Breezy, Beautiful... Coverboy

by 22paris on November 4, 2016 - 11:16pm

                “Easy, breezy, beautiful… CoverBoy?” This well-known slogan has been chanted by the many faces of the makeup line, CoverGirl throughout the years. Female actresses, models, singers, etc. have been plastered on various media outlets representing the face of the brand. All of the women with high defined cheekbones, perfectly lined lips, voluminous hair, long eyelashes, and a smile. But, the company has recently decided to break this gender stereotype by signing a new model with a beauty contract. This person is not a celebrity, nor a female. The new face of CoverGirl is now a seventeen year old, male high schooler.

            James Charles, a young man that currently resides in Bethlehem, New York is taking over the fashion and beauty industry at the moment. Although he is a student who lives at home with his parents, he is an internet-famous makeup artist in his spare time. He began his journey as a makeup artist by simply doing makeup for friends for free and posting videos and tutorials online for the public. He has accrued over 650,000 followers on Instagram and 90,000 subscribers on YouTube. Charles also gained more of a fan-base when he decided to retake his senior photos because his cheekbones were not highlighted enough, and the photo went viral. Charles is excited about the whole whirlwind of becoming a CoverGirl model and states, “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. I think it’s a huge steppingstone for such a big and iconic company.” CoverGirl is not the only brand taking steps towards becoming gender neutral. For example, Target has announced in 2015 that its stores will be “phasing out some gender-specific product categories and switching to gender-neutral displays and colors” (Derespina 1). In addition to Target, “fast-fashion chain Zara launched a collection in March for teens and older called "Ungendered" under its TRF line, which focuses on basics like T-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans” (Fox News 1). This overall idea will help remove gender stereotypes, as "when children see and hear gender labels from parents, peers, siblings, grandparents, and even the toy aisles themselves, these messages will sway a child's interest away from some (items)” (Grinberg 1). This concept then carries over into adulthood and the pattern continues with their children. Companies carrying out these new ideas puts an end to the cycle of gender stereotyping.

            After reading this article, I am thrilled to hear that the fashion and beauty industries are becoming more gender neutral. Makeup is such an important thing in my life, due to the fact that simple steps and applications can brighten up your whole face and boost someone’s confidence. Gender stereotyping has been a huge issue, as most would think of females when it comes to makeup products. Charles definitely is a strong person to break the barrier and be his own self. The only concern I have for this piece is the negative light that might occur from such a drastic step towards removing gender stereotypes, as some people are not as open-minded. I hope that this role model makes boys throughout the world realize that it is okay to be true to oneself. I also hope that the world sees that boys can wear makeup. There is no label on the packaging that states “for females only.” Anyone can be a CoverGirl.


Works Cited

Derespina, Cody. "Target Going Gender Neutral in Some Sections." Fox News, 13 Aug. 2015, www.foxnews.com/us/2015/08/13/target-going-gender-neutral-in-some-sectio....

Fox News. "Many Stores Honoring Parents' Requests for 'gender-neutral' Kids' Clothing." Fox News, 25 July 2016, www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/25/many-stores-honoring-parents-requests-for-....

Grinberg, Emanuella. "The Science Supporting Gender-neutral Marketing." CNN, 24 Sept. 2015, www.cnn.com/2015/09/24/living/gender-neutral-toys-marketing-feat/.

Safronova, Valeriya. "Meet CoverGirl's New Cover Boy." The New York Times, 12 Oct. 2015, www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/fashion/meet-covergirls-new-cover-boy.html.


YES!! This is awesome. I really enjoyed your post a lot. You summed up the basis of the article and offered a lot of insight on the new face of CoverGirl. I feel very inspired by your words and agree completely that this will change gender stereotypes for the next generation.
I just had this conversation with a few friends last night and we came to the conclusion that these kinds of stereotypes just come out of no where, really. It is so entrenched in our society that boys don't wear make-up that we don't second guess a boys ability to wear makeup. And that's not something my parents every said to me, but it was something I picked up somewhere down the road of living in this society.
To me, this is not a shock. I support males doing "female" things and females doing "male" things and everything in between. Just be who you want to be! And integrating these attitudes in marketing will inspire more children to do just that.

Hi 22paris!
I would first like to say that your blog really caught my attention because a brand like CoverGirl is well known, but it is a brand that is known for females. Reading that there was the first ever CoverBoy is really exciting because, like you said, the makeup industry is making the leap towards ending gender stereotypes.

This is such a big step in gender neutralization that I do wonder how other people are reacting to this. I did a little research to see how people were responding to the new CoverBoy and one video really stuck out. The Rebel host, Gavin McInnes posted a video stating that “What they’re really celebrating here is a boy saying ‘I’m not masculine and I’m not a boy.’” I found it really unfortunate that McInnes had such negative comments towards the CoverBoy when the he is just being himself. Although having a CoverBoy is a step in the right direction for gender neutralization, not everyone is on board just yet. Hopefully in the near future that people realize how much of a role model this young boy is and how being your true self is what matters most.


Your article is extremely well done, and gave me joy to read. An important part of your article is that we are finally starting to take down some of the social constructions that we’ve created in society. An analysis of social constructs would have furthered your research. A social construct is a category created and labeled by society, many of these govern the way men and women should act. These social constructs have not only encouraged women to wear makeup in order for them to conform to the beauty standards but have also made it unacceptable that men be associated with makeup. Society has created a very strict image of what a man should look like and act, same goes for women. Over time, and with the help of third wave feminists, makeup has increasingly become a hobby rather than an attempt to conform. However, Covergirl has also been extremely good at breaking barriers recently with their new ‘Lash Equality Campaign’, interesting additions to their covergirls include James Charles and a hijabi woman, Nura Afia, and these steps in the right direction is very exciting!

Here is an article about social constructions that would deepen your research: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/sociology-and-social...

Your title Easy, Breezy, Beautiful...Coverboy! really caught my attention. I say it's about time that a company took that step and plans to market their makeup line with a male! Times have changed and i think this is a positive step forward. I found a few articles about makeup companies started to gear towards men. This is the link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/mens-makeup/, I found it interesting.

I found your article to be very well written and informative. I was not aware that the company had hired a male model for it's products. As you stated in the article, this is certainly a step forward in the push to break the stereotypical gender roles that frequent our culture. I do also agree with your concern that some people may not necessarily be ready for something like this. Looking into it further however, I notice that race is not something mentioned within the articles. It's wonderful to see such progress made on the gender identification front, however it is a little discouraging to see that the person in the limelight for this is a white male. I think it needs to be considered that there are other barriers that can be surpassed within gender stereotypes.

I was drawn to your post due to your very catchy title, and I was also aware of James Charles due to his interview on Ellen. I think that this is a huge step in gender equality. We often hear campaigns promoting women to do whatever makes them feel beautiful, whether that be wearing no make-up or a lot of it. However, if men feel like they want to wear makeup, they should be able to do so without being judged. I thought that your post was very well written, and I'm glad that you included other industries that are trying to promote a more gender neutral industry. I especially think that this is vital when it comes to children's toys, as that can have a huge impact on what the child is passionate about in the future. I know for me personally, I loved playing with barbies but also loved playing with my brothers trucks and cars, so I believe its very important to promote a gender neutral toy industry.

What drew me to your post was the title. The title caught my attention right away, which wanted me to read your post to see what you were going to talk about. I think that you had a great post. You summarized the articles well to reflect the main points that they were trying to put across. Overall, I think that this shows that we are one step closer to achieving a gender-neutral society. In conclusion, great post!

I was drawn immediately to your post because I had heard about the new CoverGirl model who is a male and thought that this post would be about that. I also think that this is a necessary move for cover girl and I am surprised that other makeup brands have not made this move yet. I also agree with your comments about the clothing/fashion industry and having such defined ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ and ‘men’ and ‘women’ sections. I saw a video of a young girl in a clothing store and she looked at the girls t-shirts and they said things like ‘hey’ ‘princess’ etc. and then she looked at the boys shirts and they said ‘no limits’ ‘adventurous’ etc. When the girl saw this she said “what does ‘hey’ even mean?!” Her mother asked what she thought of the sayings on the two shirts and the girl said that the girls shirts said absolutely nothing positive or ambitious about girls but the boys shirts were very positive and put boys into a much better light. I think having a gender-neutral clothing brand is a good idea for those who want to wear genuinely neutral clothing but can’t because everything is either ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’. I really enjoyed reading your post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Hi 22paris,

I really liked your post. It caught my attention with the very witty title that explained the topic of your post very well. I was happy to hear that the make-up industry was bringing about changes to hopefully become more gender-neutral. I could see how this could bring about less business if those less open-minded decide they will no longer be shopping for those brands. However, I think it is a step in the right direction. The company may also receive more business by branding their product as gender-neutral, making it so that any gender can buy and use their product. It is also great to hear about someone so passionate about the industry being given such a great chance to take part in it. I hope other companies follow in their footsteps since these changes are what we need to make a difference in the world.

This article reminded me of the parents that try to bring their children up in a gender-neutral way. Through keeping the child's sex a secret, they allowed their child to decide for them self whether they would be male or female. I think these changes in societies norms are what will make those that don't feel as though they fit in feel free to be themselves. I have attached a link to an article that talks about the parent's decision to raise their child gender-neutrally if you are interested in reading it.



Firstly, I'd like to applaud you for a very well-written piece on the new face of CoverGirl. It was summative and engaging, relating to other examples of the deconstruction of social norms. Your writing has a clear 'voice', stated the facts and ended with your opinion, which is great for opening discussion on the topic.
Could you consider the intersection of other facets of identity regarding norms in the fashion and makeup industry? I would suggest discussion of race and ethnic background, as colourism and cultural appropriation are unfortunate happenings that still occur for models of colour. Concerning the shattering of stereotypes and cisnormativity, how progressive is CoverGirl's decision to hire James Charles?

Overall, an excellent, thought-provoking response!


Hi 22paris,

This is very exciting, I had yet to hear about it but I feel it will shine a new light on categorizing by gender. Society has always portrayed through media that girls are always to look put together with their hair and makeup done and boys are meant to look manly, strong and tough. There are 'boy' colours and 'girl' colours for babies, and those ideas change but continue in different ways as we grow older.
Now with such a large and popular company portraying that males can wear makeup too, this separation gap between women and males marginally shrinks. It may have some backlash for a period of time, however, society will adjust to this and eventually this may become the norm. Someone needs to take the first step, and with large companies such as Zara, Target and 'Coverboy' making a change, this could quickly become a norm in society.
Do you believe there will be more negative attention than positive to this issue?

Thanks for sharing!
- Riley


First off, your title was extremely catchy! I have recently heard of Covergirl signing a male as their newest model, but did not care to look much into it until now. I find this to be a huge change for the company as they went from having female celebrities as their spokes personal to now a local teenage boy. It is nice to see that they are sending a huge message regarding gender roles with makeup. Surely, many women and some men wear makeup, so why not make this the new social norm? Covergirl is the first makeup company to really stretch their target consumer, and that is by including males in their campaign. I think this is an awesome idea because why not lesson the gender stereotype that comes with purchasing and wearing makeup. Since our society has become so diverse, this is one way that we can become more accepting of one another. I appreciate your background knowledge on James Charles, as he is just like you and I. I think that because James is a local boy, it makes the campaign more personal and applicable to those who are deciding if they are interested in makeup. This makes me believe that anyone can be a Covergirl. I agree with James, that this is a push toward equal opportunities for everyone. This is the first I am hearing of such an iconic brand making a stand against gender roles. As you mentioned, this has already affected other brands and stores like Target. I had never really gave much thought into gender stereotypes in society until now, I know they exist, but since I was brought up in this society, I had never taken the time to determine how many stereotypes exist. I am glad that Covergirl has decided to bring an end to gender stereotyping. Overall your post was extremely interesting!

Hi there,
Great post! You wrote a very interesting an uplifting blog. Honestly, all I can say is it's really about time! This is such exciting news, especially for such a huge and impacting company such as Covergirl. The number of people that read Covergirl is huge and as a result we can only hope that this helps to prove to the world that anyone can be anyone in this world. I understand your concern that there may be some people who might get upset by this new move made by Covergirl, but I feel that Covergirl has so many supporters that if anyone were to speak out against their decision of creating a Coverboy, there would be a huge line of defence acting against this sort of criticism. Making a huge move such as creating a Coverboy changes people a lot. Seeing such a huge company standing up to gender stereotypes gives power and hope to those that support gender neutralism but are too scared to voice their opinions. It will be interesting to see what sort of response Covergirl will get from their first Coverboy, but I assure you that there should be a lot more new voices approving it, and hopefully this can drown out the ones that are opposed to it.

First of I would like to say that this was a very catching title. Well its already a famous title but a little twist on the end made me want to read this post. Very clever move on your end. But yes I totally agree with many of the points that you’ve stated across. This is the right step in moving towards the right direction. This will later pre-conceived gender roles on our society. Allowing both males and females to excel in fields where we typically see one gender dominate. This is another form of promoting equality in our society and a way of diminishing certain stereotypes and stigmas that’s placed upon certain males and females who choose to not follow certain gender roles. Overall this post was very empowering and touching. Very positive choice by you to shed light on thus topic. This is a growing concern and spreading awareness is the good steps in definitely moving towards the right direction! Kudos to you!

First of I would like to say that this was a very catching title. Well its already a famous title but a little twist on the end made me want to read this post. Very clever move on your end. But yes I totally agree with many of the points that you’ve stated across. This is the right step in moving towards the right direction. This will later pre-conceived gender roles on our society. Allowing both males and females to excel in fields where we typically see one gender dominate. This is another form of promoting equality in our society and a way of diminishing certain stereotypes and stigmas that’s placed upon certain males and females who choose to not follow certain gender roles. Overall this post was very empowering and touching. Very positive choice by you to shed light on thus topic. This is a growing concern and spreading awareness is the good steps in definitely moving towards the right direction! Kudos to you!

Hi 22paris. I really enjoyed reading this article, the title immediately caught my attention. I think that CoverGirl having a male model is an awesome and huge step for our society to start recognizing trans gender equality. The facts you have provided about Target and Zara incorporating a gender neutral line is also interesting, and I am glad you have included that because I would not have known otherwise.

Personally, I have always been a bit confused about what being trans gender means, because I have found that each trans gender person has a different story and different way they like to identify themselves. After reading your article I googled James Charles, and read this article about him : http://www.allure.com/story/covergirl-james-charles-controversy . At the bottom of the article is a 8 minute video about different trans gender people sharing their stories of how they began identifying themselves and how they interpret the meaning of trans gender. This a great video and I recommend watching it. Again, thanks for a great post, it was thought provoking and informative.

Hi there,
I really enjoyed reading your post! It's so great tot hear about the steps in the right direction that society makes in terms of challenging gender norms and accepting everyone for who they are! It's amazing to see a male put in the spotlight of a major company who have ads running on television everyday. This is great because hopefully it will be able to help others who are struggling with accepting their true identity and realizing that society is (hopefully) becoming more accepting of it. Although there will always be critics and people who don't accept people for being different than them, this is still amazing to see. Your post was not only a positive thing to read about, it made me feel happy inside! We are constantly flooded with negative messages and stories in the media and this was something that was actually nice to read about.