Acceptance of gender fluidity has often eluded the transgender community but looks like things are changing with time. A few days back, Anjali Lama, a transgender model who walked down the Lakme Fashion Week 2017 runway – the first transgender woman to model at one of the top events on India’s fashion calendar – landed on the cover of leading fashion magazine ELLE India. The February digital issue shows Lama looking all classy and polished in a blue flowy outfit with unusual eye make-up.
In a similar turn of events, Vogue Paris is all set to feature a transgender model on its cover for the first time. Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who has more than 32,000 followers on Instagram, will grace the cover. According to BBC, editor Emmanuelle Alt says she has ‘beauty striking enough to stun on the cover of Vogue’. However, this isn’t the first time for Sampaio. She has been on the cover of Elle Brazil.
In her editorial column Alt says, “Apart from one small detail, Valentina, the femme fatale, was born a boy. It’s a detail one would prefer not to have to mention… but Valentina is on the cover of Vogue this month, not just for her looks or her sparkling personality, but because despite herself she embodies an age-old arduous struggle to be recognized and not to be perceived as something Other.”
She further adds, “Trans people, the ultimate symbol of a rejection of conformity, are icons that Vogue supports and chooses to celebrate. But only when a transgendered person poses on the front cover of a fashion magazine and it is no longer necessary to write an editorial on the subject will we know that the battle is won.”