CoverGirl has long been an advocate for transforming beauty standards, and now, the beauty giant has announced their very first male brand ambassador: 17-year-old beauty vlogger and aspiring makeup artist, James Charles.
“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,” said the brand in an official statement. “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.”
THE SECRETS OUT.. so beyond excited to finally announce that I am the new face of #COVERGIRL and the first ever coverBOY. ? I am so thankful and excited and cannot wait to show you all what we have in store. Make sure you go check out @covergirl on Instagram for more info! AND YES I know I have lipstick on my teeth ?? it was a looonnnnggg day.
Charles first rose to Internet stardom when he began posting photos of himself wearing makeup looks to Instagram, but his real claim to fame came when he shared his yearbook portrait. The high school senior apparently re-shot his photos using a ring light so his “highlight would be poppin.” The self-made meme became an online sensation, and Charles’ pristinely made up face made its rounds across social media. He then capitalized on the photo’s success by creating makeup tutorials, teaching his followers how to recreate some of his iconic looks—our favorite is definitely the “Two Faced Bitch.”
“My parents started questioning me about whether or not I was transgender — whether or not I was trying to be a woman,” he told Marie Claire, of his first experiments with makeup. “It was a big argument. 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.”
As a CoverGirl brand ambassador, Charles will represent the brand by appearing in commercials and ads. As the first male ambassador, Charles helps further destroy the gendered beauty standards that permeate the industry—a move that’s long overdue. In the last year, other beauty brands have taken steps towards broadening the gender gap, creating gender neutral lines, or using male models to rebrand makeup as masculine, like MAC’s collaboration with the Brandt brothers. Charles’ appointment as ambassador hints at an exciting future for both the brand and the beauty industry—plus, he’s already our favorite CoverGirl.