Covergirl just went Coverboy by hiring male makeup artist James Charles. Charles is the first man to represent a major cosmetics brand in the United States, and the first to grace a Covergirl cover.
It is about time.
Charles has over 700 thousand Instagram followers, 100 thousand YouTube followers and 84 thousand Twitter followers. He is a high school senior living in New York with his parents and younger brother. In his spare time, Charles films tutorials and posts glamour shots to his Instagram account.
Charles recently gained media attention when he posted an image of him wearing a bright eye-catching look while dawning a tux for his senior pictures. The image went viral.
Men have worn makeup in Hollywood and on stage as “drag queens” for decades. The general public is not usually blessed with a man in everyday makeup, but times are changing. Charles looks amazing at 17 from everyday wear looks all the way to glam and costume make up.
Before these social media stars became popular, people thought of drag queens when they thought of men in makeup. However, the new Covergirl issue is teaching people that makeup is for anyone. A man in winged liner and a sharp highlight seems unnatural to a lot of people; however, those people do not know men have been contributing to makeup for decades.
Many makeup artists use techniques adapted from the drag world. Drag queens are men who wear makeup heavily while performing songs and skits. According to Jaclyn Hill, famous beauty blogger and artist, drag queens changed the makeup world by using transformative techniques to keep their makeup on longer.
Men in drag came up with the recent “baking” trend, where makeup users cover their under eye concealer in translucent powder and leave it on for five to 10 minutes allowing it to “bake” the concealer on.
Charles and Covergirl are demonstrating that a man does not have to be a drag queen or an actor to wear makeup. The beauty world has accepted men in makeup as it has accepted women—the rest of the world should too.
Double standards in makeup and fashion are overrated. Makeup and fashion are forms of expression that should be gender fluid. The world has no business telling anyone they should not wear what they want.
-Katie Burrell is a mass communications sophomore