For the first time ever, the newest CoverGirl is a boy. Yeah, it's a big deal.

Oct. 11, 2016, was a life-changing day for YouTuber, famed Instagrammer, and makeup artist James Charles.

The 17-year-old announced he was the newest face for iconic beauty brand CoverGirl.

It was the first time ever that a boy landed the role of brand ambassador for the brand.

The big moment wasn't wasted on Charles, who wrote on Instagram that he was "so beyond excited and overwhelmed and happy and astonished and of course, SHOOK" over the huge news.

"I truly hope that this shows that anyone and everyone can wear makeup and can do anything if you work hard."

"Hey, if a random 17-year-old guy can [wear makeup], you DEFINITELY can too!” he said.


Charles understands his CoverGirl title is a big win for anyone out there who feels like they can't express themselves because of societal expectations.

β€œBreaking gender norms just comes instantly as soon as a boy is comfortable and confident enough to put on makeup," he told BuzzFeed.

Fans and supporters couldn't have been more excited to hear Charles' life-changing news.

Because, hey β€”Β 2016 could use a little uplifting news right about now.

Folks were elated over what this may mean for countless other boys out there.

Some couldn't keep the smiles off their faces.

And others noted the moment was a win for all of humanity.

This isn't just awesome news for Charles. His CoverGirl gig is the latest crumbling of that age-old gender barrier that harms all of us.

From kids' toys and clothing brands to martial arts clubs and dads with painted fingernails, oppressive gender norms are dying out. Because we've come a long way in understanding gender isn't a binary concept.

This news might put some people a bit on edge (and if "some people" includes you β€” that's OK to admit!). Evolving cultural ideas and expectations can be scary and uncomfortable at first.

But it's important to understand that it's harmful to tell our kids that boys don't cry (or wear makeup, for that matter). And it hinders our girls when we subtly sway them from pursuing careers in math or science. The more we get the dangers of gender norms β€” and the importance of just being yourself β€”Β the better off we'll be.

Take it from Charles:

"I think it’s so important to love who you are and be comfortable in your own skin."

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message β€” 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again β€” and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.