Close your eyes and think about the most iconic beauty campaigns and commercials from the past 20 years. The locations were probably glamorous — Paris, maybe, or even Milan — and all the stars were likely tall, slim, white, cis women who were highly famous models and/or actresses already adored by the beauty industry.
This morning, Freckle made their debut as a beauty brand ambassador for the non-toxic, cruelty-free, vegan and gender-neutral beauty brand Fluide, with a new campaign and video series called Freckle Goes Fluide that was created by an all-queer crew. The videos, which are meant to put a queer spin on traditional makeup commercials, show Freckle in a series of comical situations — like smearing on lipstick, passionately kissing someone, then pushing them away — while offering razor-sharp lines like, "My ingredients, you ask? Why I’m a deluxe combination of the best parts of nine different genders."
But the videos are about more than poking fun at an industry that takes itself way too seriously; they're also meant to offer a much-needed moment of representation for queer people in beauty."The idea that I would be doing this for a brand that's creating makeup for boys and girls and everyone else alike was incredibly satisfying," Freckle says. "I couldn't stop thinking about what this would have meant to me as a child, or could mean for a child like me growing up right now."
Freckle considers themselves lucky because they grew up in an environment where experimenting with makeup wasn't a big deal. Freckle would frequently put on makeup with their sister while growing up, and started wearing cosmetics regularly in their early '20s while living in southern California. "I’d like to illuminate the idea that this 'counter culture' is not counter, but so much already a part of culture," Freckle says. "People, regardless of who they are or how they identify, have been wearing lipstick and makeup forever."
Fluide tapped Freckle for the campaign because they dare to be proudly, defiantly different in an internet landscape that may not seem immediately welcome. "I think for a lot of us that don’t adhere to the gender binary, it can feel very isolating to be out in the world," Isabella Giancarlo, the co-founder of Fluide, says. "One of the aims of Fluide and our collab with Freckle was to have a space for gender-fluid people to be out there authentically and unapologetically as a role model for other people who are struggling and constantly battling a world that’s telling them to be different."
By starring in this campaign, Freckle joins people like genderqueer activist and author Jacob Tobia and gender-fluid model and activist Rain Dove, who have starred in makeup campaigns of their own in the past year. "I think any chance for a marginalized community to have any form of visibility is important, point blank," Freckle says. "These ads show that there’s more than just one type of gender buying makeup."
Freckle certainly hopes that this new campaign makes people laugh, but also that campaigns like this lead to greater understanding and acceptance among those outside the queer community, too. "I hope that they see something they’ve never seen before or laugh with someone they’ve never thought they’d laugh with before," Freckle says. "I hope that they feel like, Oh, I’ve never had a friend like that, but I’d like to."