CoverGirl’s first ‘easy, breezy, beautiful’ CoverBoy

Karen Somasundaram, Contributing Writer

CoverGirl made waves recently with the decision to include makeup artist James Charles as a brand ambassador. The talented 17-year young man joins the lineup of fellow ambassadors like Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, and Zendaya. This is an incredibly important milestone in the makeup world as previously static beauty standards are slowly being unraveled.

To me, makeup is a form of expression and art. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then why not utilize tools to make yourself feel happy and confident? Makeup is also intricately personal in that you can highlight any feature of yourself and utilize particular techniques to do so. Of course, there are trends that come and go, but there remains a fact that is sometimes forgotten as Charles says, the best thing about makeup is that there are no rules.

Despite the positive support, some are uncomfortable with this development. It baffles me that there is such a blatant disparity between how differently genders are treated in regards to makeup. Why is it socially acceptable and even glorified for female celebrities to get their makeup and hair done by professional male artists but unfathomable that a teenage boy should be recognized and given a platform to demonstrate his skills?

Major makeup artists like Mario Dedivanovic, Hung Vanngo, Patrick Ta, and Ariel Tejada are credited with clients ranging from the Kardashian/Jenner family to the Victoria Secret Angels and other supermodels. High-end products from major brands founded by men like Tom Ford, Kevyn Aucoin, Marc Jacobs, and Yves Saint Laurent are also extensively sought after and coveted as cult favorites.

This dichotomy is similar to the notion of gender roles in which women are expected to know how to cook well, but some of the most renowned chefs in the world are men. There are issues with this established social norm. First, there should not be any expectations for a specific gender to do any one thing exclusively. Second, since there have been many negative reactions to male makeup artists, how will they gain the experience, exposure, and acceptance to reach that hallowed level if they are not able to freely exercise their artistry?

If one thing is certain about this development, it is that Charles is incredibly talented. He has the confidence to stun his fans with a variety of makeup looks and takes the time to create tutorials for other makeup aficionados. Charles, as the new face of CoverGirl, is inspiring, and adds to the increasing number of social media personalities who have been recognized for their work online. He’s an artist that will pave the way for a change in beauty standards and gender roles.

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