Meet James Charles

This 17-year-old makeup artist is CoverGirl’s ‘very first CoverBoy’


Whichever RuPaul’s Drag Race queen said that “CoverGirl don’t cover boy” might wanna rethink that.

On Tuesday, CoverGirl announced that James Charles, a 17-year-old makeup artist with a large social media following, will serve as the cosmetic line’s first-ever male CoverGirl. I still feel Generally Weird about brands that try to incorporate seemingly progressive politics into their advertising, since, you know, corporations aren’t people and are just trying to sell us things. But shut up, cynical side of me that is super not fun at parties. This is good.

L-R: Katy Perry and James CharlesLacey Terrell/CoverGirl

L-R: Katy Perry and James Charles

CoverGirl spokeswoman and vocal #ImWithHer-head Katy Perry broke the news on Instagram, posting a photo of herself with Charles on a set.

“Just wrapped another great @COVERGIRL shoot,” Perry wrote in the caption. “Honored to have the pleasure to announce the very first COVERBOY, James Charles!”

Charles, a New Yorker who began building his Instagram fan base last year, hit up his own account soon after, telling followers that he is “so excited” to be “the first-ever male CoverGirl.”

James Charles was not available to comment on his new gig, but a CoverGirl rep told me that his partnership will include an ad campaign for their upcoming So Lashy brand of mascara, a “universal mascara designed to work on all lash types.”

Do people of different genders have different types of eyelashes? Are there different lash types period? I don’t know! All I know is that there are probably a lot of makeup users who are not female-identified who might feel a little more encouraged to hit up their local Sephora once they see Charles’ CoverGirl ads all over the place. And that these ads don’t signify anything inherently feminist or progressive or whatever about CoverGirl they just mean that it is now more profitable than it is unprofitable for a cosmetic line to use men their ads they could have been doing this years ago if you think about it but I guess that would’ve been too easy breezy bad for business at the time I guess apparently who cares don’t @ me.

Aspirationally inclusive capitalism sure is disorienting!