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Covergirl and Maybelline Hire Male Model Representatives

By Ryan Ellis
On January 21, 2017

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo 

Back in October, CoverGirl magazine announced that James Charles would be their first male CoverGirl. The story exploded over social media with mixed reactions from liberals and conservatives across the world. Maybelline then announced their first male ambassador, Manny Mua, earlier this January.

The campaigns of CoverGirl and Maybelline were aimed to support the LGBTQ community, with a special emphasis on the transgender community, noticing that both Charles and Mua are openly gay.

Both Charles and Mua began their makeup and modeling careers on YouTube, where they quickly achieved large amounts of followers. Charles acquired over 400,000 followers across social media within a single year.

Charles and Mua were excited to be the first male representatives among two of the largest makeup/beauty magazines.

“I can’t believe Maybelline posted me on Instagram. I think I’m the first boy they’ve ever posted! We’re breaking boundaries guys!,” Mua said.

Katy Perry announced CoverGirl’s decision to hire Charles over Instagram. “Just wrapped another great CoverGirl shoot. Honored to have the pleasure to announce the very first CoverBoy, James Charles!,” said Perry, posing next to Charles at Covergirl’s photography studio.

In a recent press release, CoverGirl explained their decision to hire a male model to showcase their brand. “All of our CoverGirls are role models and boundary-breakers, fearlessly expressing themselves, standing up for what they believe, and redefining what it means to be beautiful,” wrote a CoverGirl representative.

Although Charles and Mua have received plenty of praise and increased their social media following, they have also witnessed an extraordinary amount of bullying from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users. One user tweeted the cover of Maybelline featuring Mua and captioned it with, “Dads, this is why you need to be there to raise your son.” That tweet alone received over 4,500 likes and 1,500 retweets with other users replying with their words of approval.

A mother went viral after her disapproving blog post was shared across social media.

The blog post on the website of “The Homeschool Conservative” described how the young child of the mother asked why there was a boy wearing makeup: “Maybe that is how his parents chose to raise him. That is not how I’m choosing to raise you.”

With both acceptance and controversy spreading throughout the country over the Maybelline and CoverGirl male models, where does Ottawa University stand?

After surveying a group of students anonymously, 87 percent agreed with the magazines’ decision to hire male representatives, while seven percent disagreed.

Out of the men that agreed to take the survey, 82 percent said they agreed with the magazines’ decision to hire male representatives. Around nine percent said they disagreed with the decision, and nine percent said that they were “indifferent.”

“If they want to reach a broader audience by hiring male ambassadors, who is it hurting? They have every right to do it,” one student said when asked why he agreed with the companies’ decision to hire male models.

“Today’s society needs more diversity. People should be comfortable with who they are no matter what,” another male student said.

When asked about why the magazines decided to hire male representatives, one male student said, “It’s America and everyone deserves a chance to do what they want to do.”

“Today’s society (current generations) are becoming more open-minded (hopefully),” was the response of another male student.

The nine percent of men who disagreed also gave their opinion. “It wouldn’t be the traditional cover girl, so it may offend some people,” was the response of a male student who did not agree.

“I don’t think a male should be on the cover of a magazine directed toward women,” was the disapproving response of another male student.

Out of the females who completed the survey, 95 percent said they agreed with the decision to hire male models, while five percent said they were “indifferent.”

“I am indifferent towards the new cover. I don’t think only one gender should be ‘allowed’ to wear makeup. If one wants makeup, go for it. If this new cover was made solely to raise controversy then I have questions,” one indifferent responder said.

“We as a society need to be more respective of how people wish to express themselves,” a female OU student said. The women’s responses widely fought against discrimination and spoke encouraging words about supporting the LGBTQ community and anyone who goes against “society’s norm.”

As for the students who did not wish to express their gender, 81 percent agreed with the decision and 19 percent disagreed.

“I’m assuming they made this decision in order to appeal to another revenue source -- but I hope they also are trying to reflect positive attitudes about more inclusive gender notions,” one responder said.

Out of those surveyed, a vast majority of students were unbothered by the covers of the magazines. The students were supportive of both the models and the decisions of the magazines to expand outside the expected. 

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