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Petitioning for a transgender Victoria’s Secret Angel

by Marco Saveriano November 19, 2013
Petitioning for a transgender Victoria’s Secret Angel

Victoria’s Secret is known for its extravagant annual fashion show, its skimpy underwear and its ability to skyrocket a model’s career, thrusting the likes of Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bündchen to supermodel status. Could an online petition make a transgender woman the famous lingerie brand’s next breakout star?

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

Earlier this month, a petition was created on Change.org urging Victoria’s Secret to hire transgender model and performer Carmen Carrera as its first ever transgender Angel. The petition states: “By asking Carmen to be a model, Victoria’s Secret would show the entire community that they embrace trans patrons.” The petition has gained an outpouring of support after being featured everywhere from Cosmopolitan to CNN.

Carmen Carrera, born Christopher Roman, rose to fame in 2011 after appearing on the popular show RuPaul’s Drag Race. In 2012, fans followed her through her transition from Christopher to Carmen, when she began pursuing the body she felt was the right one.

She has been featured in fashion spreads in W Magazine, walked in runway shows, and appeared on several television programs. After discovering the online petition, Carrera took to her Facebook page to express her gratitude.

“I just want to take a moment to say WOW,” she wrote. “In less than a day the signature count has gone from a few hundred to almost 10,000! I’m amazed! And just to make it clear, this petition is not to force [Victoria’s Secret] to do anything. It’s to prove that the world is ready for change and possibilities are endless!”

The petition has since received nearly 41,000 signatures. The company has yet to make a statement—but will it embrace the idea?

After all, Carrera is no amateur, she recently strutted her stuff on the runway for Marco Marco’s show at Los Angeles Fashion Week. She’s not one to shy away from nudity either. She regularly shares candid revealing pictures on her Instagram page and wears nearly nothing during her stage shows. She’s also the star of a new short-film by famed fashion photographer Steven Meisel entitled Showgirl.

However, not everyone is as supportive of the idea. Some people have a hard time accepting the idea of a trans women, many believe that if she was born a male, then she’s a man. A Montreal Gazette blogger also argued that “[Carrera] should be given the same consideration for Victoria’s Secret other women might get. She should not get special treatment because she transitioned.” There’s bound to be negative repercussions surrounding such a controversial issue but any publicity is good publicity, right?

If Victoria’s Secret fashion show producers were smart, they would at least consider hiring Carrera. Not only would it attract huge publicity for this year’s fashion show, scheduled to air on Dec. 10, but it would also pave the way for the rest of the fashion industry.

Having a transgender model and LGBT activist like Carrera featured in its show may just be the perfect thing to keep the brand fresh and exciting, something the company surely strives for year after year.

A transgender model being cast in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show would not only be a huge statement, but would also send a message to other trans people who feel like they are underrepresented in the media.

So why not, Victoria’s Secret? Pave the way and make a change.

 

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