RuPaul’s Drag Race star and model Carmen Carrera said there are not enough transgender models on magazine covers. Carrera also accused the fashion industry of “tokeniz[ing]” transgenders by only featuring a few of them, and claimed that magazine consumers need to start seeing more models that they “don’t want to look at.”
“We should be seeing more trans women that come in all different shapes and sizes, from all different ethnicities who do come from the community and who can really represent the full trans umbrella,” Carmen Carrera told Yahoo! Entertainment. “We need to see the folks that people don’t want to look at. They are the ones that we should be seeing in the advertisements too and that goes for within the LGBTQ community and outside of the LGBTQ community.”
Last summer, Valentina Sampaio made headlines after becoming the first biological man to appear in Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. Earlier this year, Leyna Bloom became the first black and Asian transgender to model in the Swimsuit Issue. A few months later, Bloom was put on the SI cover.
This moment heals a lot of pain in the world. We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder. @SI_Swimsuit #SI2021 pic.twitter.com/ArvYsG1IS2
— Leyna Bloom (@leynabloom) July 19, 2021
But according to Carrera, that’s not enough, as the RuPaul’s Drag Race star calls that tokenism, and believes that more biological men that identify as women should dominate the magazine covers.
“It’s great to see trans women, especially trans women of color, get on a global, recognizable platform like SI Swim,” Carrera said. “I’m so proud of Leyna and all those who made this possible. But I want to remind these shows, publications and corporations of the mission.”
“There is also importance in recognizing more than just one or two transgender representatives from the community — and I’ve noticed we have again begun to tokenize ‘one special’ person of color, ‘one special’ person from the trans community, etc. — which puts pressure or feelings of inadequacy on the rest of the community,” he added.
In 2018, Carrera took to Instagram to respond to former Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek, who told Vogue that he didn’t believe “transsexuals” should be featured in the company’s shows.
“My everyday is a physical manifestation of my childhood fantasy,” Carrera wrote. “I am a strong woman with enough charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to bravely move forward in a world that seeks to erase her. I wish certain people would see beyond viewing me as just a ‘transsexual’. I am way more than that, @victoriassecret. #EdRazek”
Fortunately for Carrera, though, Victoria’s Secret is currently going through a woke rebranding, remodeling its stores across the world, throwing out its iconic “Angels” imagery, and naming transgender model Valentina Sampaio and purple-haired women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe brand ambassadors.