In an industry that tends to employ primarily well-known, inaccessible celebrities as the face of its campaigns, airbrushing them to the point of no return and making unsubstantiated claims about their products, it is always nice to see a woman who is not famous be honored for her contributions to society in addition to having her beauty recognized. Remember honorary CoverGirl Talia Joy Castellano, the adorable 13-year-old who used makeup (exceptionally well, just look at that eyebrow arch) as a “wig” for her cancer? Well, now we’ve got 18-year-old Alexis Harris, who is exactly the type of role model we should be touting as the face of a major beauty company. Fortunately for us (and her), she was named an honorary CoverGirl on The Ellen Show yesterday.
Harris is a University of Texas-San Antonio student who, in addition to having received her Associate’s Degree before finishing high school — suddenly, I regret having had senioritis up until I turned 18 — is the CEO and founder of the S.M.I.L.E (Students Making Impacts in Lives Everywhere) Movement. The movement was established last year “to bring forth young leaders of our generation,” an excellent cause, in my opinion, since our generation tends to be viewed as the we-seriously-care-about-nothing group. S.M.I.L.E. runs food drives, makes inspirational videos and collects clothes for those in need.
The reveal on Ellen was done in a fantastic/emotional/normal TV-reveal way: Harris had no idea she would be receiving the honor and was simply sitting in the audience until Ellen began leading out Harris’ family members. She then played a video of Harris’ submission to CoverGirl’s contest in which she discussed being raised with her three brothers by their military-employed mother and being unable to recall the last time she had spoken with her father, but has nevertheless been able to follow and attain many of her dreams. Harris, all teary-eyed — and it’s difficult not to get weepy yourself when you see the video – then goes up to accept her award.
Now, she is $20,000 richer and has had her excellence and devotion to others recognized, as well as her gorgeous smile and face. Congratulations, Alexis Harris! You are a winner in a dozen and a half ways, and I hope you feel like one.