|Valentina Sampaio Transgender Beauty: |
How They’re Shaking Up The World.
Is The Fashion Industry Doing Enough To Represent Trans People?
So we take one forward step and we take one backward step. To calibrate this week we have the cover of French Vogue, featuring Valentina Sampaio.
This past month, Vogue Paris debuted its first trans cover star, 22-year-old Brazilian-born Sampaio; the March issue is the first magazine in French history to put a single trans person on its cover. Although not completely the first, November 2007 cover with androgynous model Andre J. was a shared cover with Carolyn Murphy.
Editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt writes in her editor's letter:
[Sampaio] embodies...a long and painful fight against being perceived as a 'gender exile’.” The headline reads: “Transgender Beauty: How They’re Shaking Up The World.”
“Most trans people are not trying to 'shake up the world',” Shon Faye, a British journalist and commentator on trans issues, tells Refinery29 when asked about her reaction to the Vogue Paris cover. Shon points out that, although kinder than the coverage of a few years ago, it’s still a “sensational representation” of trans people. “Being trans is not a political statement designed to make everyone rethink gender,”...
Unfortunately, Transphobia is more rife than ever. Just last week, President Donald J. Trump revoked protections introduced by President Obama that allowed trans students to use the bathroom of their choosing. Earlier this month in the UK, a boy shot an 11-year-old transgender girl at school with a BB gun, the culmination of weeks of bullying. LGBT rights charity Stonewall estimates that around half of young trans people have attempted suicide. "The fashion industry could do with being a little less self-regarding about using trans people's bodies without knowing the brutal rift between those bodies and the world that trans people emerge from," Shon says.
|Caroline 'Tula' Cossey|
As such, both Andrews and Scott find subheads like “Trans Beauty” wholly unnecessary. “It would be nice to have the person’s name rather than having to have the word ‘trans’ in the headline,” the former says, nothing that, in the 1980s, trans models like former Bond girl Caroline Cossey were shot for Playboy, or did beauty campaigns; no one knew they were trans, except maybe the photographer. “It wasn’t because she was trans that she was shot, it was because she was beautiful.”
Read the complete Refinery 29 Article.