Everybody’s talking about CoverGirl’s first CoverBoy, James Charles. The media coverage has been positive and the comments from readers supportive. Unfortunately, no one has gotten around to asking the mansplaining patriarchy how we feel yet. So as a red-state-born, meat-eating, football-loving, gun-shooting, eight-baseball-hats-owning, married (to a woman) white man in his 40s, I just want to say … THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME.
I also want to say right up front: My approval here does not matter even a little bit. Oh, yeah, good, some straight guy thinks it’s OK for CoverGirl to have a male model. All of our gender politics issues have been solved. Now this dude can go back to playing Madden ’17 without guilt while we fight for our rights out here. This is not about my approval. It’s about saying something I know a lot of other guys would like to say but lack the platform of working for a website with a national audience: we support the shit out of this.
Why can’t there be a male CoverGirl? CoverGirl is a business, and if it thinks it can move more Colorlicious Lip Lava gloss with a 17-year-old male as the face of its company, go for it. You know who this doesn’t affect? Guys like me who didn’t even know there was a Colorlicious Lip Lava gloss until I Googled “CoverGirl products” 30 seconds ago for the purpose of injecting an article about a heavy topic with a dollop of humor through the addition of a specific detail.
And, hey, why can’t Charles and other guys beautify their faces with make-up? And I do mean beautify, because Charles is crazy good at it. THAT HIGHLIGHT, THO (I didn’t write that line and don’t know what it means but I was told it was appropriate.)
CHUNKY GLITTER FESTIVAL MAKEUP TUTORIAL for this look is now live on my YouTube channel! 😉 Link is in my bio, enjoy! 💙 ____ @benefitcosmetics kabrow gel + gimmebrow #benefitbrows @makeupforeverofficial HD foundation stick @katvondbeauty shade & light palette @anastasiabeverlyhills modern Renaissance eye palette + so Hollywood illuminator @morphebrushes 35B palette (use “JAMES” for $$ off) @nyxcosmetics jumbo eye pencil in black bean for waterline @lashesbylena Gigi lashes @ofracosmetics liquid lip in The Bronx (use code “JCHARLES” for $$ off) @artistcouture mermaid fantasy highlighter
MIDNIGHT 🌙 wanted to show y’all my new dark hair & claws 👀 ____ my nails were snatched for the gods by @picasonails 💕 she’s so kind AND talented (duh), you need to check her out! we went with matte black almonds but I wanted an accent nail so she gave me a chrome nail 😍 I’m obsessed!! ____ my new dark hair was done by @sassysio over at @artandautonomy 😍 I desperately needed help with my faded rats nest that was living under my hats, and I absolutely love how it turned out!
pixelated 🎮 – Base is @makeupforeverofficial HD stick foundation in Y315 & @lunatick_cosmetic_labs contour palette to contour my face. – On my eyes I used @benefitcosmetics air patrol primer and a translucent setting powder. Mascara I @benefitcosmetics theyre real lash primer and @benefitcosmetics they’re real mascara for a super natural lash look! Liner is @katvondbeauty tattoo liner. – Lips are all @anastasiabeverlyhills liquid lipsticks. I used the shades American doll, Vamp, Sorbet, Spicy, Pure Hollywood, Party Pink & Sarafine, and also mixed some together to create the other colors!
closeup details from my pixel look for everyone who asked. 🎮 all products used are in my last post! – I’m not too happy with the way this closeup came out to be honest but then again drawing little squares on my mouth for an hour is not exactly the easiest task in the world 😂 I hope you guys like it that’s all that matters
I mean, seriously. I’m the guy who goes to Chinese buffets alone and reads Sports Illustrated. I wear black socks with white tennis shoes to the mall. I am un-ironically norm-core. Makeup is not my world, but what Charles is doing here is, objectively speaking, creative and beautiful and wonderful.
Of course, this poor kid has haters, and they message him on his various social media accounts. Even with filters in place, some of the hate gets through. Do you remember being 17? Do you remember how devastating ANY criticism felt at that age? How much needing everyone in the world to like you mattered? Now imagine being called all manner of names and words by grown adults simply because you are you. Would you have been mature enough to respond like this?
“I have a thick skin, and I’m definitely not willing to let someone without anything better to do than hate on someone else behind a keyboard get into my head.”
In another interview he said:
“Breaking gender norms just comes instantly as soon as a boy is comfortable and confident enough to put on makeup. I think it’s so important to love who you are and be comfortable in your own skin.”
I’m not just rooting for Charles because he’s talented and he’s an underdog, and because it’s a free country. I’m all in because a society that welcomes everyone – well, that’s beautiful.
Joe Donatelli is Senior Writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @joedonatelli and Facebook. He wrote The Moment You Realize Your Soul Belongs to Los Angeles.