This 18-year-old woke up with 18,000 likes on his impeccably made-up yearbook photo

The makeup look took 4 hours to apply, Kevin Kodra says

High school student Kevin Kodra is a makeup artist and self described "social media influencer" with thousands of followers on
Instagram, but the reaction to a graduation photo he posted on the social media site on Monday was surprising, even to him.

"When I woke up the next morning ... with 18,000 likes on my photo — it was different, to say the least," he told CBC Radio's Here and
Now on Thursday.

Kevin Kodra is getting worldwide attention after sharing his grad photo, in
full makeup, on Instagram. Within two days of Kodra posting the photo,
popular magazines including Seventeen and Teen Vogue had written features
on the 18-year-old.

"This is a new concept: a yearbook photo going viral," he said.

Kevin Kodra has had international media attention after his grad photo went viral on Instagram. (CBC)
Kodra says he might have gotten that reaction because of what he describes as his "glamorous, bronzy… very red-carpet" look.

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

"There's a lot of lash involved," he laughed.

Kevin Kodra said he spent four hours on his makeup before picture day at his school in March. (Instagram)
'Honestly, it was very supportive.'

But perhaps a bigger surprise to some was the support Kodra received from his family and friends at Bishop Allen Academy, a Catholic
school in Etobicoke.

"Honestly, it was very supportive."

Kodra comes from a "traditional Albanian background," but explains that his dad was one of his biggest supporters along with his two
best friends — both male, both Albanian.

"It's different for my background," Kodra said.

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."

The concept of a man in makeup still isn't entirely socially acceptable, he says.

Kevin Kodra, 18, is a makeup artist and self-
described 'social media influencer' from Etobicoke.

"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."

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 — a career path teachers at his school
have encouraged him to pursue, he says.

"It's humbling to say the least," he told Here and

Besides taking the perfect selfie,  Kodra says, a
big part of 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."

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