How is this for payback?
After Victoria’s Secret said its annual show shouldn’t include transgender models, transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf has taken a swipe at the famous lingerie brand while revealing her latest saucy photo shoot as a part of a campaign for a different, more inclusive, lingerie brand.
On Wednesday, Bergdorf tweeted she was proud to take part in the LoveYourself campaign for lingerie brand Bluebella — her first underwear modeling shoot since having gender reassignment surgery.
Bluebella’s campaign is aimed at promoting greater diversity in fashion and champions women from all walks of life in a bid to redefine sensuality.
Bergdorf, from Essex, England, said she believed that although a lot of brands talked about being pro-diversity by featuring models from different racial and LGBTI backgrounds, many weren’t actually practicing what they preach — taking aim at Victoria’s Secret.
The 31-year-old, who is also a DJ, hit out at the lingerie giant after the brand said in November it would not use trans models in its globally televised annual fashion show.
The controversial comments caused Victoria’s Secret CEO Jan Singer to resign after two years in the job.
In an interview with Vogue, Victoria Secret’s chief marketing director Ed Razek said it would not feature transgender or plus-size models in its fashion show, arguing that their brand was based on fantasy and being “politically correct” wasn’t part of their brand.
He has since apologized for his “insensitive” comments and said trans models would be considered.
In Bergdorf’s pinned tweet alongside an image of her recent shoot, she said: “All women are the fantasy, no exceptions!”
The British model, who was born biologically male, has since expressed her disappointment over Razek’s comments, saying: “It’s a big shame Victoria’s Secret decided not to be inclusive of trans women within their shows or campaigns.”
She told the Daily Mail that lingerie should be something that all women can enjoy.
“It’s something personal, beautiful and intimate that is a celebration of femininity, something that every woman should have the option of being included in. True diversity is the future, let’s leave any form of discrimination or exclusion in the past.”
Bergdorf was the first transgender model in the UK for L’Oréal although she was dropped by the French beauty brand following a race controversy — after she made comments on Facebook in the wake of events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
However, the model’s brave comments caught the attention of rival beauty brand Illamasqua, which quickly hired her to front its new campaign based around gender fluidity.
“She speaks out about the issues that affect not just her but the rest of our generation, seeking to improve the society we live in,” Illamasqua said in a statement at the time.
Bergdorf, who began her transition at age 19 and has previously revealed how she was bullied at school, is now calling for greater race and LGBTQ+ diversity within the fashion industry.
“What’s so amazing about lingerie is that it can really emphasize your own femininity,” Bergdorf told the Daily Mail.
“I’m proud to be part of a campaign that is encouraging all women to feel empowered and sexy in their own ways, on their own terms.”
She told the publication that in the early stages of her transition she was scared of the masculine parts of her body, but it has changed so much during the process.
“I’m now in a position where I don’t care about other people’s opinions on my appearance,” she said.
“I care about the opinions of the people that matter to me, but not so much of people walking down the street.
“If someone knows I’m trans I don’t feel ashamed of that anymore. I think it’s something to celebrate and it’s a part of me.”