Not your parents’ yearbook photo, or yours either.
A senior yearbook photo of Bishop Allen Academy, a Catholic high school in Toronto, Canada, has gone viral.
The student in the photo is Kevin Kodra, 18, a makeup artist and self described “social media influencer” with thousands of followers on Instagram.
Kodra said it took him four hours to apply the makeup for his photo back in March. The result was an almost unreal visage, contoured to near perfection. He called it a “glamorous, bronzy… very red-carpet” look and that “There’s a lot of lash involved.”
Kodra posted his yearbook pic to Instagram. He told CBC that he woke up the next morning to 18,000 likes on his photo. Within two days, magazines including Seventeen and Teen Vogue had written features on him.
Kodra said he received support from his Albanian family and friends at his Catholic high school. Asked whether he’s experienced any negative feedback, Kodra explains that he has a filter on his Instagram comments, which allows him to be “in my little bubble, my own little world where I don’t see the hate” because the concept of a man in makeup still isn’t entirely socially acceptable. “The masculinity that’s wanted by men, and that’s expected by a lot of women and men — it’s uncomfortable for those hyper-masculine men to see a guy wearing four-inch lashes on his face, or over-lined lips, or contour or highlight. It’s just uncomfortable.”
He says his goal is to “break down that stigma and that social barrier. I want little guys and little girls to know that they don’t have to be feminine or masculine — they can be whatever they want.”
Kodra will graduate in June and plans to go to either Ryerson University or York University next year where he hopes to pursue media arts and production.
He tweeted these before and after pics of himself:
He also posted to Instagram other pics of himself, made up to look like monsters: