Within the last decade, the definition of beauty has been challenged and changed. Companies now understand that, in order to survive in this diverse market, they have to open up and welcome everyone regardless of their sex, race, or religion.
Last month, CoverGirl — which literally has its target gender in its name — defied all expectations by hiring James Charles, a 17-year-old male makeup artist from New York, as the new face of the brand. Charles started experimenting with makeup on his own and now has the skills of a professional. In fact, he’s so good that his senior portraits, for which he did his own make-up, went viral overnight after he posted them on Instagram.
CoverGirl didn’t stop there. The company then hired Nura Afia, a Muslim beauty blogger, as another new model. It’s the first time that such a large-scale beauty brand will be represented by a Muslim wearing a hijab and is already making history as another step of representing everyday men and women of all ethnicities in the cosmetics industry.
Equality and diversity haven’t always been embraced by the beauty world. Cosmetic brands tend to be at the center of many controversies regarding how they represent diversity in beauty. For example, the cosmetic brand ColourPop had to renamed their sculpturing sticks, as the names of the darker shades caused an uproar for their racial undertones.
It seems as though the digital era is about to change all that, though. People want to be represented and want to see that beauty is not all about being a pretty face: it’s about recognizing what makes everyone different and embracing and accentuating those characteristics.
Men and women should not be shamed by an industry which, ironically enough, is supposed to make them feel good about themselves. CoverGirl took a huge step by celebrating individuals who represent this changing face.
— Thisvi Papanastasiou