Last September, beauty vlogger and CoverGirl’s first ever CoverBoy, James Charles Dickinson (professionally known as James Charles), shared a sneak peek at his high school yearbook photo. The pic went viral instantly because Charles went the extra mile, bringing his own photography props to ensure his “highlight would be poppin.”
Fast-forward to Thursday, and his final yearbook photo is here. Let’s just say, it probably exceeds his highlight-goal expectations. “Poppin'” would actually be a bit of an understating descriptive.
For Charles’s exclusive reveal, the 18-year-old influencer decided to share a snapshot of the photo on Instagram with the caption: “So the senior yearbooks finally came out today…”
A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles) on Jun 1, 2017 at 11:25am PDT
Charles’s full eyebrows were perfectly groomed, his eyelashes looked voluminous, and his highlighted cheekbones, tear ducts, and nose will have you wondering how long it took him to perfect it all. He possessed a next-level glow that’s really hard to ignore when flipping through the pages of a yearbook. The icing on the cake? His priceless yearbook quote: “Use code ‘JAMES’ for 10% off your purchase at checkout.”
Charles’s photo has already received nearly 500,000 likes with lots of positive feedback from his fans. “I’m obsessed with the lighting,” one person wrote. Another excited Instagrammer replied: “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen omg.”
While many were cheering on Charles’s over-the-top yearbook photo, the last few months haven’t been as celebratory for the beauty maven. In March, he faced lots of backlash for tweeting an offensive comment about potentially catching Ebola during a school trip to South Africa. Lots of people who had lost friends and family to the virus were pissed off, and the CoverGirl ambassador immediately issued an apology.
I just spent the past 10 days in South Africa. In Cape Town, our first stop was to a local high school. I was nervous to visit after the recent events, however I was met with endless smiles and hugs from kids that came running from all over the school. Learning about the school system, education and their everyday lives was eye opening. After touring the campus, I sat down with a large group of kids and talked to them about my ignorant comment which degraded their continent. The students made the conversation easy, informative and light hearted. Being able to talk to these kids about my mistake taught me an important lesson about privilege, something that has always been a concept I didn't fully understand. Through speaking with them, I became aware of the potential impact I may have – both positive and negative. I don't want to be someone who takes advantage of this privilege, or be someone who is only self-aware. I was also given the opportunity to talk to the principal of the school about gender identity and acceptance, and we had a great conversation. The students aren't allowed to wear makeup or have long nails and there's a strict dress code at the school, but we talked about the importance of self expression. I realize how fortunate and grateful I have been to have the opportunities that I have – and to be supported by people all over the world and called out when I mess up. My ignorance allowed for me to make a massive error. I am extremely sorry for what I said. There are no excuses. No one owes me forgiveness, but I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope that the people who might look up to me will be able to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I recognize my position as an influencer and know that it is so important to be a positive role model for all, and how in many ways, I have failed to do so. I am eager to keep learning and keep growing as a person. This trip has been one that I will never forget. From one school of Eagles to another, thank you Edgemead for such an incredible and humbling experience.
A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles) on Feb 28, 2017 at 2:32pm PST
Prior to the Ebola joke incident, Charles faced controversy from critics who questioned CoverGirl’s decision to name a male as the face of such a huge beauty brand. One Christian blogger mom blamed Charles for creating “turmoil” in her home.
“I really hope that as the first male CoverGirl that I am able to inspire others and give other people confidence to try out makeup! Hey, if a random 17-year-old guy can do it, you DEFINITELY can too!” the high school senior told BuzzFeed. “Breaking gender norms just comes instantly as soon as a boy is comfortable and confident enough to put on makeup. I think it’s so important to love who you are and be comfortable in your own skin.”
A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles) on May 29, 2017 at 12:32pm PDT
But things seem to be turning around for Charles, one glamour shot at a time. He is still pushing through with his head held high — in the most flawless way possible, of course.
Can you imagine what his high school graduation slay will look like?
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