Victoria’s Secret – the two words themselves have become embellished in modern culture as a synonym for female sexuality. The legendary underwear brand is no longer just a brand; alongside launching the careers of supermodels such as Tyra Banks and Adriana Lima, the house hosts an annual fashion show, a true spectacle that showcases beautiful lingerie and even more beautiful women. However, Victoria’s Secret has never really courted controversy – until this year. Although not yet confirmed, an online petition has been rapidly gaining popularity and could change the face of fashion forever. The subject of the petition is transgender beauty Carmen Carrera, famous for her stint on RuPaul’s Drag Race [Season 5] and the aim is to bag Carrera a slot in the upcoming fashion show, thus cementing her position as a force to be reckoned with in the modelling world.
Carrera is just one of the figures that are spearheading the recent revolution within the fashion industry – alongside transgender model Lea T and the androgynous male/female model Andrej Pejic (he walks womenswear shows as often as he does menswear)outdated archetypes of femininity are slowly being reconstructed. The entertainment industry is beginning to embrace the trans community and shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race are bringing what used to be a cult phenomenon firmly into the mainstream, showing that men can (admittedly, occasionally) look just as good as women with a full face of make-up (and a damn good tuck!)
The ‘androgynous’ trend is not a new one in fashion – it stems back as far as the 80s when Jean Paul Gaultier famously dressed Tanel Bedrossiantz in his womenswear collection and the iconoclastic couturier Thierry Mugler was sending shaven-headed female bodybuilders down the runway in his PVC skirt suits. The trend also appears more superficially in the form of ‘menswear for women’ – usually represented by women donning trouser suits and a bowler hat. However, the trend is now embodied in more than just clothing. There are women such as Saskia de Brauw and even Amber Rose that are confident enough to shave their heads and still ooze femininity from every pore, whereas men like Andrej Pejic are showing that, for once, androgyny is a concept applicable to both sexes.
Transphobia is also an important social concept which is finally being addressed. Society often gets a bad reputation for its ignorance of transgender – too often it is linked with homosexuality, whereas the terms ‘transgender’ and ‘transvestite’ are still often confused. Lea T recently cleared this up with a controversial naked photoshoot which showed both her breasts and her bulge – an image which was both provocative yet still incredibly beautiful. It is refreshing to see society being exposed to these kinds of images, images which are slowly pushing the boundaries of femininity and of beauty in general. As for Carmen Carrera, if she did actually manage to be featured in the Victoria’s Secret show it would be a huge coup for the transgender community, especially considering the ‘Angels’ of Victoria’s Secret are chosen as they represent the epitome of desirability, both for men and for women. For a transgender woman to play the role of the woman that every man fantasises about, it would redefine the definition of female sexuality and, ultimately, empower a whole community. So, if you would like to encourage this revolution, please sign the petition HERE and help change the face of fashion forever!