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Covergirl makes history

The iconic beauty brand just announced its first male spokesmodel For many years, CoverGirl’s spokespeople have been known to be role models and fearless boundary-breakers, constantly giving new definition to what it means to be beautiful. James Charles is no exception. Charles is the first male CoverGirl in the company’s nearly 60-year history, joining the ranks of celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Rihanna.

The announcement came through in classic millennial fashion, with Katy Perry breaking the news with multiple selfie videos and photos with Charles that were posted on Instagram, marking an iconic moment in beauty history. Charles, 17, a high school senior from Bethlehem, New York, often found himself doing makeup for his friends at no charge. He gained attention last month when he posted on social media that he was retaking his senior pictures because he did not like how the highlight on his cheekbones looked in the originals. When retaking his pictures, Charles brought his own ring light to the set. His post went viral on Twitter, grasping the attention of singer Zendaya.

His Instagram profile reads that he is an “aspiring makeup artist,” but he can now change that to “inspiring makeup artist.” Charles has made a name for himself after rising to popularity from amassing a huge following on YouTube and Instagram. He has gained nearly 650,000 followers on Instagram and more than 90,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel in the past year.

Charles’ social media accounts showcase his different makeup styles including his daring pixelated lips and signature bold galaxy look. CoverGirl’s selection of Charles shows that the beauty industry is becoming genderless, making the push toward equal opportunities for everyone regardless of gender, race and sexuality. There has been a lot of progress when it comes to gay rights, gender inclusivity and self-expression. It is about time the world got a male spokesmodel for cosmetics. Charles’ accomplishment is a big deal for not only gender inclusivity, but for himself as well. At first, it was difficult for his family to understand his passion for makeup as a concept separate from his gender identity.

The fashion and toy industries have been working hard to tackle gender stereotyping. The idea that a boy or girl should only enjoy or engage in activities typically suited to their gender is sexist and outdated. Nowadays, inclusivity is the main focus for certain industries. Gender-neutral fashion is certainly gaining fast popularity and it is refreshing to see this extended into the beauty industry.

Charles will be the new face of CoverGirl’s mascara, “So Lashy,” which is launching later this month. As part of his contract, he will appear in next month’s campaign “So Lashy,” which is formulated to be universally flattering and work on all lash types. Charles will post tutorials and tips on his and the CoverGirl’s social media channels throughout the rest of the year. CoverGirl said it hopes that having Charles as a spokesperson will inspire others to go against the norm and be true to themselves.

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