Following the apology issued by Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of Victoria Secret’s parent company, in regards to his earlier comment in having transsexuals as Victoria’s Secret angels (themed insulting and dehumanizing by the transgender fraternity of models), Carmen Carrera, a model and activist of the transgender race in a sit-up interview with Teen Vogue has disclosed the importance of transgender representation on a runway like Victoria’s Secret.
She said, “It’s important to have transgender representation because we represent the forthcoming generation, and their new perception on the standard of beauty – which I believe is being true to yourself, loving yourself and others. It’s also about being more aware, socially, and shedding light on all marginalized groups. It’s beyond the surface beauty.
Carmen continued in her reasons, by stating what to is to her and her transgender folks what the incumbent angels strutting the wings on the runway represent, of which she discloses they are only there because they look good and nothing more. “But if you look at Victoria’s Secret models, honestly, young girls don’t necessarily look up to them for healthiest reasons. It’s more about the envy, the desire to look aesthetically best: it’s an unattainable, elitist mindset. Those models are basically there just because they look good. It doesn’t go much from that,” said Carmen. “Having a transgender girl up there who works just as hard as to maintain her mind and body, but also heart, soul, spirit, life, transition, perseverance, and will to survive? That’s representation that all women can look up to! We are positive examples of how to break through the boundaries that hold all women back in the first place. We are heroes. We’re champions of our own triumphant stories, which people love, and that just comes along with us being us.”
The show, which grosses over 800 million viewers across 190 countries has faced backlash almost every year in its running for their inability to have a full representation of models on the runway. Aside the transgender models speaking up about the flaws of the show, plus-size models are also in the talks as well for their lack of representation.
Per history of their effort to make it on the runway, in 2015, model Tess Holliday shared an image of herself in lingerie with the caption ‘If Victoria’s Secret needs a plus-size angel, call me. (PS. Us fuller ladies like to wear lingerie and look sexy. Get with it).” Ashley Graham also shared an illustration of herself a year after as the first plus-size model of Victoria Secret fashion show, but all attempts proved futile as the brand failed to respond or recognize them on the show.
In attempts to address the concerns of the many, who feel left out in the show, the Victoria Secret fashion show this year had on its runway the first model with Vitiligo (Winnie Harlow) and the first Filipino model (Kelsey Merritt).