Transgender models add diversity

On Nov. 8, Carmen Carrera, a transgender woman, announced her interest in walking the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. Carrera, known for her appearances in RuPaul’s Drag Race, would be the first transgender female to walk the annual Victoria’s Secret show, an event viewed by millions on CBS and mostly catered to heterosexual men. Upon her expression of interest in walking, NewNowNext reported that some have criticized Carrera’s dreams because she would alter the “ideal” image of a Victoria’s Secret angel. But in reality, Carrera would tear down gender barriers and benefit society.

Carmen Carrera, born Christopher Roman, first rose to fame as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality television show designed to mirror America’s Next Top Model. She was eventually eliminated before the finale, but Carrera left a positive impression upon her audience. After her stint on the show, Carrera’s modeling career skyrocketed. According to the Daily Beast, Carrera has appeared in W Magazine twice and walked in Marco Marco’s show for Los Angeles Fashion Week. Now, Carrera is regarded as one of the fashion industry’s first transgender supermodels. Carrera certainly has the experience to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway.

The fact that Carrera has such a strong background in modeling highlights just one of the many reasons why she would be a worthy candidate to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. First, most of the fashion industry’s representatives are rail-thin women who act as closet hangers to a designer’s creations. Anybody who diverts from the standard attracts attention. Recently, a surge of plus-sized models have been noticed in the industry, but institutions of image cannot just stop at size. Gender, and what is expected of each gender, is socially constructed and therefore cannot be definitive. Society might frown upon men who want to become women, but nothing, except societal pressure, is stopping people from becoming comfortable with who they are. Carrera sends a message to the public to celebrate their inner selves and achieve those aspirations.

Though Carrera’s message is inspiring, many have expressed polarizing opinions over the matter. One of top comments in response to the Carrera story criticized Victoria’s Secret for noticing people based on merit, should they choose to put Carrera in the show, according to the Daily Beast. They recognized Carrera as a revolutionary agent, but being radical doesn’t equate with being qualified. Though this is a valid argument, Carrera’s involvement with high fashion and walking previous runways bolsters her ability to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. The only thing stopping her is how she was born into the “wrong” sex, a mentality with which much of society is still uncomfortable.

To combat this antiquated mindset, the public must be exposed to people who eradicate gender stereotypes. Putting Carmen Carrera on the Victoria’s Secret runway is just one step. So far, Carrera has found support among her fans. Almost immediately after Carrera’s announcement, posted a petition to raise awareness of Carrera’s situation. So far, the petition has garnered nearly 40,000 signatures.

Carrera’s story has highlighted that whether a person is XX or XY or XX formerly XY, no boundaries are permanent.


Danni Wang is a freshman majoring in health and humanity.

Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojan 

1 reply
  1. Ras
    Ras says:

    Can a person who is born a white person – really feel deep inside he is an Asian or Black person? Then have the surgery to alter his physicality to align with his deep inner notion of who he really is?

Comments are closed.