March 18, 2021 5:30:56 pm
Leyna Bloom has made history as the first transgender model of colour to feature in Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Swimsuit Issue.
Bloom is Black and Filipino, and was raised in Chicago, Illinois, mentions The Independent. Through the feature, Bloom hopes to show readers that her “autonomy and my anatomy are beautiful,” she was quoted as saying.
Bloom said the feature was also dedicated to all those “missing in the world”. “I’m promoting something that has been missing in the world: trans beauty in all shapes and all sizes. I’m representing Filipina, I’m representing Black, I am representing people who have been immigrants. For them, I’m a vessel of change,” she told New York Times.
“I want people to see that, and to see that you can be respected, appreciated and loved regardless of your body shape, sexuality and the colour of your skin,” she added.
Bloom shared one of the photos from the shoot on Instagram, in which she is seen wearing an orange monokini with cut-out detail. “This is what it looks like to be in full bloom…This moment is bigger than my wildest infinite dreams,” she captioned the post. Take a look:
View this post on Instagram
Meanwhile, the magazine’s editor MJ Day also opened up in an essay about the decision to feature Bloom, revealing that the outlet is “honoured to have her in this year’s issue and understand the effect it will have on so many others”.
“Her presence as the first trans woman of color to be in our issue is a result of her lifetime dedication to forging her own path that has led to acceptance, love and change. She represents every person’s right to love themselves and be who they want to be,” the editor reportedly wrote.
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