By Scotlyn McConnell
As of Oct. 12, the popular makeup brand CoverGirl made history by being the first-ever company to have a boy as the face for their brand. James Charles, a 17-year-old high school student and New York native, is a makeup artist with a huge following on social media, and now, the first ever CoverBoy. By taking on this role he is opening himself up to a lot of hate and I applaud him for that. However, I feel like this historic thing that’s happening brings to light the issue of gender boundaries and roles, and how society treats them.
While most people are getting more comfortable with the idea of women in combat and diaper-changing stations in the men’s room, when it comes to fashion and beauty, there’s still a very harsh set of rules. Men cannot wear dresses and makeup or often even jewelry without being criticized, and a woman in a suit is seen as trying too hard.
Women still can’t compete in major league sports like football and baseball alongside men, even though there’s are some who are just as good. Men can’t be accepted when they wear a skirt. While we’re making great strides in the world of breaking the gender binary, everyone still freaks out when Jaden Smith wears (very cute!) shift dresses in Vogue.
Bringing a boy into a feminine role in mainstream media breaks a whole new set of rules.
While the world may not be ready for people like Jaden and James, what they’re doing is necessary. As a culture, we constantly need to move forward. So, even if they don’t want CoverBoy, they’re going to get him and all of the fabulousness that surrounds him. And you know what? The world isn’t going to end because of it.
Just like when gay marriage was legalized, there will be some unhappy people, but in the end, life will go on. Nobody’s life is affected by this, except for all the boys who do makeup and now have representation and, hopefully, acceptance.
James’ boxy brows and blinding highlight are punching down the walls that put men and women into a box of social constructs. His 500,000+ Instagram followers know gender norms are over, I know they’re over, CoverGirl knows they’re over, and, together, we’re going to make sure everyone else knows it.