Victoria's Secret just hired its first transgender model, and we're cheering
Victoria’s Secret just made major history with its first hire of a transgender model over the weekend. Brazilian model and actress Valentina Sampaio posted some behind-the-scenes snaps from her Pink photo shoot with the brand on Friday.
“Backstage click,” she wrote next to a gorgeous shot of herself in the makeup chair. Meanwhile, in a video, she practices her poses, captioning the clip, “Never stop dreaming.”
It’s been a long time coming for the brand to include a more diverse cast of women, including plus-size and trans models. Just last year, VS’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek came under fire for his homogenous hiring practices. “If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” he told Vogue.
Razek’s words didn’t sit well with vets Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, and Kendall Jenner, who all spoke out against his statement on social media. “Trans and GNC [gender non-conforming] people are not a debate,” Lily and Karlie posted to their accounts, while Kendall shared a pin that read, “Celebrate Trans Women.”
In the end, Victoria’s Secret’s close-mindedness is what ultimately lost them Kloss. Speaking with British Vogue last month about why she decided to retire her wings, the supermodel said:
“I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world,” she concluded.
Perhaps Karlie’s walkout served as a wakeup call for the brand. We’re so happy for Sampaio, and we hope that Victoria’s Secret continues to diversify their cast of women.