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Transgender model becomes face of L’Oréal

Husna Rizvi August 31, 2017

Credit: Instagram @munroebergdorf

A model has become the first openly trans woman to front a L’Oréal UK campaign.

Munroe Bergdorf announced that she is going to be the face of the True Match campaign on Instagram.

She revealed: “So I’m the first transgender woman to feature in a L’Oréal UK campaign… I got to say the famous lines! SO gassed! Thank you to all who support me and to all my sisters who have come before me… #AllWorthIt #YoursTruly”.”

On instagram, she writes in another post: “I am so proud to be doing my bit for transgender visibility in the media.

“The world is changing and I like how the world is changing.”

Berndorf acknowledges that “transgender women of colour had next to zero positive representation in the media.”

She added: “When I was growing up… there was almost no information or understanding about us. If we were portrayed on television or in films, it was solely in tragic storylines or with our gender as the punchline of a joke.

“As an 8 year old, I remember watching the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, starring comedian Jim Carey, at a classmates house after school.

“Sorry to ruin the ending if you haven’t seen it (don’t bother), it ends in the movie’s villain being caught, stripped to her underwear and exposed as in fact ‘a man’. Then to add insult to injury, everyone in the room starts vomiting as they have all engaged in sex with her.

“Seeing a scene like this including a trans person, played by a cis woman – it may see trivial to some but I carried that ‘punchline’ throughout my adolescence, it made me feel guilty and confused about who I truly was, so I pushed my true self into my subconscious and tried to be someone I was not.

“Fast forward two decades and I am so proud to be doing my bit for transgender visibility in the media. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a perfect person, but none of us are.

“However, I’m a whole person, with flaws, aspirations and interests. I’m often referred to a role model for the community, which annoys me because none of us need to be compared to each other.

“But I’m definitely down to be considered as a role option if anyone does see themselves in me or my story.

“Thank you L’Oréal for giving me this platform, I hope it reaches another little 8 year old trans girl and makes her feel a little more hopeful and a little less scared about her future, than what was installed in me when I was her age. The world is changing and I like how the world is changing. Because we are ALL worth it

She thanked L’Oréal in the campaign video for their commitment to gender and racial diversity.

When I was growing up, transgender women – especially transgender women of colour had next to zero positive representation in the media and there was almost no information or understanding about us. If we were portrayed on television or in films, it was solely in tragic storylines or with our gender as the punchline of a joke. As an 8 year old, I remember watching the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, starring comedian Jim Carey, at a classmates house after school. Sorry to ruin the ending if you haven’t seen it (don’t bother), it ends in the movie’s villain being caught, stripped to her underwear and exposed as in fact ‘a man’. Then to add insult to injury, everyone in the room starts vomiting as they have all engaged in sex with her. This film was given a PG certificate. Imagine being eight years old, knowing that you’re transgender but not having the language to verbalise it and then seeing a scene like this including a trans person, played by a cis woman – it may see trivial to some but I carried that ‘punchline’ throughout my adolescence, it made me feel guilty and confused about who I truly was, so I pushed my true self into my subconscious and tried to be someone I was not. Fast forward two decades and I am so proud to be doing my bit for transgender visibility in the media. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a perfect person, but none of us are. However, I’m a whole person, with flaws, aspirations and interests. I’m often referred to a role model for the community, which annoys me because none of us need to be compared to each other. But I’m definitely down to be considered as a role option if anyone does see themselves in me or my story. Thank you L’Oréal for giving me this platform, I hope it reaches another little 8 year old trans girl and makes her feel a little more hopefull and a little less scared about her future, than what was installed in me when I was her age. The world is changing and I like how the world is changing. Because we are ALL worth it. #allworthit #yourstruly @lorealmakeup.

A post shared by Munroe Bergdorf (@munroebergdorf) on

She wrote: “Thank you L’Oréal Paris for giving me this platform. I hope it reaches another little eight-year-old trans girl and makes her feel a little more hopeful and a little less scared about her future, than what was installed in me when I was her age.”

“Make-up’s definitely been a way of me reflecting how I feel inside and it’s a direct expression of who I am”, she says.

“Going into a store and finding make-up that helps you achieve those small victories, I think that that’s amazing.”

Transgender Model Hari Nef, Credit: Loreal USA

The move comes after L’Oréal US chose transgender model Hari Nef to be the face of their January campaign this year.

More: L'Oreal, trans model, trans rights

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