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.
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.