Last month CoverGirl announced that 17-year-old Instagram star James Charles, a charming kid with a ton of Instagram fans and a deep commitment to properly blended contouring, would be the company’s first-ever male CoverGirl model. It was a delightful turn of events, because CoverGirl’s male model Charles is wonderful–I’m a sucker for a good smile, and Charles’ grin is even brighter than his highlighter–and also because it’s 2016 and the idea that only women can wear makeup is absurd. Makeup shouldn’t be forbidden or mandatory to anybody. If you like makeup and want to paint your cheekbones to look like disco balls, do it. If you don’t like makeup and want to walk around without it, you should be able to do that too, even if you’re a woman.
Unfortunately, even though it is 2016, plenty of people still seem to think tiny trays of metallic powders and glossy unguents will bring about the apocalypse if applied to the eyelids of a man or boy, and one self-described conservative Christian homeschooling mother is concerned and distraught because her 6-year-old son saw Charles’ CoverGirl commercial and asked why his dad didn’t wear makeup. Now the world has gone topsy-turvy, her child is “asking questions,” and “growing up too fast” and it’s apparently a complete crisis. Because a boy is wearing makeup.
Patheos’ Hemant Mehta found the op-ed by the homeschooling Christian mom named Sarah over on Homeschool Base. Homeschool Base’s Nicole Dean specifies that the Christian mom named Sarah is a reader who sent the article as a community submission, and that it does not represent the opinions of Homeschool Base.
The article does represent the opinion of conservative Christian homeschool mom Sarah, though, who says the commercial with CoverGirl’s male model came on while she and her family were watching Toy Story on ABC, and she wasn’t paying attention because it was just a CoverGirl commercial and she “didn’t think she would need to cover the screen.” Because if a boy is on TV in makeup, you have to cover the screen to protect the children. (Nobody tell her that literally every man on TV is wearing makeup, it’s just designed to be less obvious than the makeup Charles is wearing in his commercial.)
Sarah’s son apparently saw Charles in his makeup and asked about it, at which point the befuddled parents just panicked and said, “No, that’s a girl.”
But then the commercial came on again, and Charles is obviously a boy, and Sarah says her son asked why his dad didn’t wear makeup. Instead of saying, “Because he doesn’t want to,” they said, “Daddy doesn’t wear makeup because makeup is for girls.”
Of course the boy asked why James was wearing makeup in the commercial, which would have been a great time for his parents to say, “Because he wants to.”
Instead, they were “faced with a moral dilemma.”
“And now we are faced with a moral dilemma,” Sarah writes. “Do I lie to my son? Or do I tell my 6-year-old my full opinion? I thought about lying and saying, ”That’s how his eyes really look.” Or, do I tell the truth and have a deeper discussion with him? Maybe, ”That’s the way his mommy and daddy chose to raise him. But, that’s not the way we are choosing to raise you. Does a parent end it there? Or continue to say, ”That is sinful and wrong. He shouldn’t be doing that, and his parents are wrong.””
Probably not that last bit, Sarah.
Sarah even says she has to find new makeup now, because she “can’t support this.” She also made a big deal about how in the commercial Charles was “arching his back and holding his thighs,” and I had to go back and re-watch the commercial because I thought I must have missed this lascivious thigh-grabbing, but nope. It appears she’s talking about this pose:
Oh dear. Someone alert the authorities!
“I am caught in a slippery slope, now hesitant to let him go over to friend’s house,” Sarah moans. “Our world is headed in a direction where my 6-year-old son is having to grow up so much faster than I want him to.”
Cool it, Sarah. Your son isn’t growing up so fast. He just saw a boy wearing makeup and that is unusual enough in his life that he wanted to ask a question about it. Explaining a boy in makeup to a kid is not hard. Here is a script I just wrote: “He’s wearing makeup because he likes it.”
There, all done.