Image: Shutterstock/Phovoir

One of the most coveted beauty roles in the world is to be named an ambassador for the global cosmetic brand, CoverGirl. Spokespeople for earlier CoverGirl campaigns range from Ellen DeGeneres to Drew Barrymore to Faith Hill. Being named a CoverGirl is a badge of honor in the beauty industry and usually only happens to bonafide celebs and beauty experts. This woman dominance is why it was revolutionary in 2016 when CoverGirl announced that the first ever male ambassador for the cosmetic brand was a teenage boy who had merely fallen in love with the magic of makeup.

James Charles is a 17-year-old who has become obsessed with doing his own makeup. He began sharing his eye for beauty online and amassed a following within his first year of posting makeup looks. CoverGirl reached out to him to name him a CoverGirl and enlisted him to model in the launch of the brand’s So Lashy mascara. The teen was photographed alongside pop star Katy Perry to show off the mascara’s ability to make lashes look full, dramatic, and voluminous. James was photographed for the campaign wearing a full face of makeup, with each shot focusing on his dramatic lashes. The campaign not only featured shots of James wearing the mascara, but it also stood for so much more.  By including James in the campaign, CoverGirl boldly declared that everyone is welcome to use their products and that beauty is not defined nor limited by social constructs. If a male wants to wear makeup, then he should feel comfortable enough to do as he pleases without facing harsh judgment and ridicule from anybody else.

Makeup is a form of artistic creativity that allows those who wear it to feel empowered enough to create the look they want to portray. Cosmetics work to enhance natural beauty and are not limited to just one type of person. Makeup as a consumer product has been reserved for women when in reality, there is no justifiable reason why men should not wear makeup. Many people would be shocked to learn the amount of makeup that most male celebrities wear on a daily basis, even outside of work. There are no reports of how much makeup Hollywood’s leading men wear because society is less than accepting. CoverGirl’s decision to include James in their campaign will help to break the stereotypes about who can and cannot wear makeup.

The beauty industry is an amazing way to celebrate diversity, creativity, and inclusivity. The platform of CoverGirl means that millions of people around the world of all ages will see James rocking his makeup and be encouraged to know that no matter who they are, they can also rock whatever look they want. Makeup and style are a form of self-expression that should not be limited by gender roles. Beauty is for everybody because everybody is beautiful already in their unique ways. CoverGirl has decided that this idea is something they can get behind and we think other brands definitely should, too.