We talk a lot about the need for more diversity in the beauty, fashion and advertising industries. It is something of a passion for us to see ALL kinds of bodies and people represented. While we know we are a long way off from reaching a place where we don’t see any blatant discrimination, rendering websites like ours completely obsolete, there are moments when we have hope.
Covergirl’s #LashEquality campaign is one of those moments when we start to see evidence of the voice of the people influencing the big machine. With so many social media voices, fashion bloggers and body positive influencers dominating online, it’s impossible for major beauty brands to ignore the movement of change and still come across as inclusive. As the name suggests, LashEquality is about promoting equality and diversity.
The iconic brand hired its first ever “Coverboy” James Charles, who is a 17 year-old aspiring make-up artist from New York which a near-half a million followers on Instagram who regularly check in with the social media sensation to see his artistry and talent on full display.
In an interview with Teen Vogue about his new deal, James expresses how excited he is to be part of such an historic campaign.
“I am so honored and thankful to be able to start this new era of CoverGirl! I hope to inspire others to be confident in their own skin and to love themselves with makeup or without... It’s amazing that this industry is going genderless and I think it’s so important for everyone to feel included and welcome,” he said.
The campaign features a host of social media influencers like James, including beauty blogger Nuria Afia, DJ and fashion host Amy Pham, and singers Chloe and Halle who shot to fame after covering Beyonce’s ‘Pretty Hurts’ track on their Youtube Channel, getting noticed by Queen Bey herself, and then ended up getting signed to Bey’s management. Some of the more recognizable names in the campaign are Katy Perry and Sofia Vergara, who are already part of the Covergirl celebrity roster.
Nuria Afia has become a powerful voice in the online beauty community for her unique approach to fashion and style for the modern Muslim woman. Like James’ aesthetic, her makeup expertise is on fleek and it is a great example of why brands and labels should always cast a wide and diverse net as possible when looking for campaign representatives.
With over 200,000 subscribers, Nuria’s videos range from various ways to style a hijab, to her fave shade of lipstick. She is the first woman to appear in a Covergirl campaign wearing a hijab, allowing the brand to join a shortlist of major players who understand the value of marketing to a diverse customer base.
“Honestly, growing up and being insecure about wearing the hijab, I never thought I would see Muslim women represented on such a large scale. It means the world to me, and I’m so honored to be a part of this campaign with CoverGirl,” Nuria told US magazine about her involvement.
“I think it’s amazing and it’s important that beauty brands like CoverGirl cast a diverse range of people for their campaigns … I love CoverGirl as a brand and everything they stand for — they really believe in beauty for all.”
The statement Covergirl made shows they are indeed listening to the voices of their fans and customers who want to see different people represented in their campaigns.
“CoverGirl has always been an inclusive beauty brand dedicated to helping people express whatever is most uniquely beautiful about them in a transformative yet accessible way. For us, beauty is about more than just looks — it’s about personality, as embodied by our lineup of fearless, boundary-breaking CoverGirls and the millions of people who love our products,” the company said.
H&M made waves by featuring a model Maria Hidrissi, their first ever Muslim woman proudly wearing a hijab, in a campaign earlier this year. It sent a loud and clear message not so much about H&M, but that the push for diversity by the everyday people is working and necessary. Thanks to the world of social media our voices have become amplified in a powerful way.
It seems fitting that the Covergirl campaign is geared toward the promotion of equality, especially given the current political climate where we are seeing an uprising in attacks on minorities in the United States after the recent presidential election. There has never been a better time for us to collectively take a stand for diversity and inclusion.
However, as with most diversity-driven campaigns by major corporations and brands, it is imperative for us to keep them accountable and ensure this is not just a tokenistic gesture. We hope to see a wider range of body types, ages, and abilities represented in the future Covergirl campaigns. Let this now be the status quo in the beauty industry.