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Brief Published: 13 Oct 2016

CoverGirl Signs 17-year-old Cover Boy

James Charles for Covergirl

US cosmetics brand CoverGirl has announced a new ambassador and its “very first cover boy” – James Charles, a 17-year-old make-up artist and senior-year school student from Bethlehem, New York.

Charles came to prominence in early September when he posted his yearbook photo on Twitter. Unhappy with the initial results, Charles asked the photography company if he could retake the portrait using his own lighting equipment, which he felt better showcased his highlighter product from Anastasia Beverly Hills. The image has since received 38,000 retweets and been liked by 96,000 people, including US actress/singer (and CoverGirl ambassador) Zendaya.

Charles has now amassed 67,000 Twitter and 500,000 Instagram followers, as well as launching a successful YouTube channel with 75,000 subscribers where he posts make-up tutorials.

The news about James’s deal was announced on fellow CoverGirl face Katy Perry’s social media channels on Tuesday this week, accompanied by a photo of the pair on set with Perry’s pet dog. The appointment is a shrewd move by the millennial-friendly brand, garnering huge publicity and tapping into a new movement for No Normal: Post-Diversity Marketing.

For more on Gen Z and young millennial beauty vloggers including #beautyboys like Manny Gutierrez, see Gender-Fluid Generation: Beauty Attitudes. Meanwhile, check out how diversity and inclusivity is becoming part of the conversation around Fashion Weeks, in ‘No Normal’ at NYFW S/S 17.