Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret featured a transgender model for the first time in the windows of its stores in New York City and London on Friday.
Victoria’s Secret is partnering with fellow lingerie brand Bluebella to celebrate diversity, reported the Daily Mail. The campaign, which includes both transgender and plus-size models, featured May Simón Lifschitz, 24, a biological man who identifies as a woman, in its store window displays.
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Launch day. 💥 Bluebella is now available in select @victoriassecret stores, alongside our new #LoveYourself campaign! We launched today at the New Bond St store and it’s looking P E A C H Y. Here are @itmaybemay and @laurarakhmankidd, two of the four unique and amazing models that featured in our LoveYouself campaign, all about self-love and acceptance. Love you, whoever, wherever, however. 🖤🖤
A model and actor who began taking anti-testosterone hormones at the age of 16, Lifschitz reportedly said changing his body to appear as a woman allowed the ability to “move through spaces and be acknowledged as a feminine creature, acknowledged for the psyche that comes with being on that side on the spectrum.”
“I will never be 100 per cent happy with my body, like any other woman,” Lifschitz added. “But I choose to remind myself that I don’t need to ‘fix’ myself constantly in order to reach that sense of love towards myself.”
Bluebella is highlighting its #LoveYourselfCampaign that the brand says seeks to celebrate female empowerment. In the past, both Victoria’s Secret and Bluebella have been the recipients of condemnation from the left for their lack of “diversity.”
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#LoveYourself. May says 'I feel the most sensual when I'm alone, when I'm not performing, and when I catch myself not being in control.' May began the process of transitioning when she was 16 and is one of the four gorgeous women featured in our LoveYourself campaign, all about self-love. She describes her body as 'Brave'. 🖤🖤 We also interviewed her, in collaboration with @StyleLikeU, about sensuality and what it means to her and her body. Swipe up on our Insta Stories for more. ☝️☝️ (@itmaybemay) #loveyourself #stylelikeu #collaboration #collab #selflove #strength #may #campaign #inspiring #interview #amazing #women #stories #personal #transgender #model #intimate #redefining #sensuality #body #positivity #empowerment #brave #sensual
Lifschitz is modeling the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection along with plus-size model Ali Tate Cutler.
According to Bluebella, Lifschitz “is one of the four gorgeous women featured in our LoveYourself campaign, all about self-love.”
Lifschitz “describes her body as ‘Brave,'” the brand stated on Instagram.
“By expressing vulnerability in general, I think we can help each other become stronger feminine beings,” Lifschitz said, according to the Daily Mail. “So, I am very grateful that I have been given the chance to share and I feel very lucky for being part of a project with so much love in it.”
The decision to include a transgender model in the lingerie retailer’s store windows comes one year after Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek was denounced for dismissing the notion of either a transgender or plus-size model in the company’s catalogue or fashion show.
However, in August 2019, Victoria’s Secret announced the hiring of its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, 22, a Brazilian actor. Sampaio had also been the first transgender model to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine.
Breitbart News reported:
“It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should,” Razek said in an interview with Vogue. “Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
Razek was later forced to apologize for his remarks, admitting that they were “insensitive.”
“My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologize,” Razek said. “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings … And like many others, they didn’t make it … But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”