Victoria’s Secret has just hired their first transgender model. The Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, was ecstatic to announce her new modeling job with Victoria’s Secret by posting behind-the-scenes pictures on her Instagram account.
She posted a video of herself shooting for an upcoming campaign for Victoria’s Secret Lingerie brand, Pink. She wrote under a post of her smiling face, “Never stop dreaming.”
Valentina Sampaio is breaking though stereotyping by being the first transgender model for modeling assignments traditionally reserved for cisgender women. Cisgender is the term used to identify people whose gender matches the sex they were born with.
Sampaio was the first transgender model to appear on the cover of Vogue and now to work for Victoria Secret. Her new ascent is considered to be a milestone for the entire transgender community. She is opening the fashion industry for other transgender models.
But other transgender models have expressed their desire to walk the Victoria’s Secret catwalk, such as Carmen Carrera and Leyna Bloom. In 2013, Carrera got more than 35,000 signatures for a petition for the lingerie company to let her be the first transgender model to be an Angel.
Victoria’s Secret has been under fire lately with dropping revenues due to their exclusive marketing advertised directed at a certain sized woman. Then last year Ed Razek, Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer was critiqued for his bias comment about using transgender models in the catwalk.
When he was publically asked why they haven’t hired a transsexual for the annual Victoria’s Secret show, he stated that he doesn’t think they should because the show is about creating a fantasy.
This comment caused Victoria’s Secret to be critiqued by the online transgender community. After being publically shamed, the lingerie company made a heartfelt apology on Twitter.
But the transgender communities weren’t only the ones to be insulted by this comment. Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldrigde both spoke up on social media about why they have decided to stop being Angels. Karlie Kloss summed it up pretty good, by stating that it was because of the lack of inclusion.
We are positive that we will see more and more models taking a stand for choosing to work for brands that promote inclusivity in the future. They want to promote ideologies that reflect the world we are living in today and not twenty years ago.
Recently, Victoria’s Secret has hired a new set of Angels, such as Barbara Palvin, Grace Elizabeth, Leomie Anderson and Alexina Graham. Valentina Sampaio hasn’t been hired to join the team of Victoria’s Angels but as part of an ad-campaign for the lingerie’s brand, Pink. Some critics are saying that isn’t enough to change the sexist image that Victoria’s Secret has created.
But these are positive strides by the world-renowned lingerie company that will help in recognizing the need for more diversity and inclusivity within the fashion community. But the question is with all of the controversy around Victoria’s Secret, such as the sex-trafficking charges, low-ratings and store closures, is: are they able to redeem themselves or is it too late?