Model makes history by becoming first trans woman to front L'Oreal UK campaign

Transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf has become the first openly trans woman to front a L’Oreal UK campaign [Photo: Instagram]
Transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf has become the first openly trans woman to front a L’Oreal UK campaign [Photo: Instagram]

Seemingly fed up with the same white, thin and cis-gendered look displayed by many beauty brands, L’Oreal has set another record in the history books by casting transgender model Munroe Bergdorf in its latest campaign.

The activist-slash-model announced she was one of the faces of L’Oreal Paris UK’s new True Match campaign, making her the first openly trans woman to front an ad for the UK-based brand.

It follows in the footsteps of L’Oreal US who used transgender model Hari Nef in their January 2017 campaign.

In a heartwarming video, Munroe details how the lack of people like her in the public eye motivated her to say yes to the offer.

“I definitely set out to empower girls like me,” she says. “I think that our history definitely wasn’t being told. Not many people know that it was trans women of colour that fought for gay rights, that started the Stonewall Riots, which eventually led to the gay rights movement.”

She then goes on to talk about her personal relationship with make-up, adding: “Make-up’s definitely been a way of me reflecting how I feel inside and it’s a direct expression of who I am.”

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

The model thanked L’Oreal for giving her a platform to show transgender women (especially trans women of colour) in a positive light.

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“When I was growing up, transgender women had next to zero positive representation in the media and there was almost no information or understanding about us,” she wrote on Instagram.

“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.”

While other brands are stepping up their gender game by using men as the face of their ads, the number of transgender people in beauty (and fashion) campaigns is still lacking.

Let’s hope moves like this will change that.

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