Underrepresentation Of Transgender Models – Barneys Takes a Stand

A few months ago, model Eline van Uden wrote a blog about curves on the runway. In her blog, she reflected on the zero-size-fits-all body type that has dominated the fashion industry for decades. Not only size-wise fashion shows, magazine editorials and fashion ad work have lacked diversity; transgender models have also been severely underrepresented.

Luxury retailer Barneys New York signals the under representation of transgenders and takes a step to include transgenders in the fashion industry and better acquaint people with the transgender community. Its latest “Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters” spring 2014 campaign features 17 transgender models and embeds photo’s, video’s and a short film. The media footage gives a beautiful personal image of the models featured in the campaign. Sawyer Devuyst, one of the models featured in the campaign, stresses he hopes the campaign will make it easier to relate to trans people. I personally think the models did a great job in doing so!

Other transgender models that are featured in the campaign: Arin Andrews, Edie Charles, Valentijn de Hingh, Ashley de la Cruz, Peche Di, Dezjorn Gauthier, Trevon Haynes, Katie Hill, Eve Lindley, Niki M’nray, Ryley Pogensky, Ines Rau, May Simon, Ahya Taylor, Maxie Neu and Gisele Xtravaganza.

View the complete campaign and learn more about the featured beauties at Barneys.

BROTHERS, SISTERS, SONS AND DAUGHTERS. Copyright: Bruce Weber

Copyright images: Bruce Weber 

Some people might think using transgender models in a campaign while stressing their ‘transgenderism’, comes off as kind of gimmicky. I partly agree with that. If transgenderism (is that actually a word?) would be completely normal and accepted, there would not be a campaign featuring transgenders. It would not be stated that we are looking at transgenders. No, there would just be a beautiful person in the campaign and it would not be stated that we are ‘dealing’ with a transgender. Nor would there be so much media attention about the gender of the model. Stating it like that, I think the campaign and the media attention that it is surrounded by is kinda sad …

On the other way, I think it is good that we pay attention to transgenderism and talk about transgenderism. I think it is great that people like Dutchie Valentijn de Hingh (who has a cool blog!) take a stand, are open about their transgenderism, open to answer questions and by doing so, contribute to the understanding and acceptation of transgenders. I am proud that models like Valentijn and Andrej Pejic are succesful models in a cisgender (somebody that identifies with its biological sex) dominated industry. I truly hope to see more transgender in magazine editorials, ads and fashion shows. Without stated that the models are transgenders!

Question of the day: do you think the barriers of entry to the modeling industry regarding gender, but also size, age and color, are slowly being broken down?

About Angela

Angela
Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour. I write about everything that I find worth sharing. Go ahead an take a look around. Don't hesitate to share your thought sor opinions. Enjoy!

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