3 Trans Models Who Are Changing the Beauty Space
When you say the word "transgender," most people probably think of Caitlyn Jenner. Understandable, given that Jenner won an Olympic gold medal in 1976 and went on to a career in reality television that has lasted since 2007. No matter what your interests are, you’ve heard the name Jenner. But before that big Vanity Fair article, there were quite a few other prominent faces who transitioned—women who also pursued careers in an industry that quite literally judges individuals based on their appearance. These women have altered the way beauty is acknowledged. Keep scrolling to find out more about three transgender models who pioneered their way past taboos in the beauty space.
“I’m more comfortable than ever. I feel at a 100%.”— Andreja Pejic, to People
Pejic was already a successful model—having walked the runway for Gaultier and Marc Jacobs—when she decided to transition, despite the risk to her career. Andreja is perhaps the best example of a working model after her gender-confirmation surgery: She has since appeared in both W and Vogue, walked the Giles F/W 15 runway, and landed a major contract with Make Up For Ever. She has named photographer Steven Klein, whose work was also featured in the book W: Stories ($46), as a close friend and supporter in the industry.
"When a person has gone through the journey of finding and pursuing their most authentic self and shares that gift, for me, that's beautiful."— Geena Rocero, to Allure
After being signed to NEXT Model Management 10 years ago, Rocero gave a TED talk in 2014 sharing her journey with the world. The video, “Why I Must Come Out,” has gotten more than 2 million views, and her story has helped educate people on what it means to be born transgender.
“I didn’t want to live my life for other people anymore. Even though that was to deal with surviving after domestic violence, it helped me with my own transition.”— Isis King, to MSN
She was homeless at the time, but King was cast as the first transgender contestant on America’s Next Top Model after a homeless-themed photo shoot for the series. King moved on to become the first transgender model for American Apparel. Both New York magazine and the creative director of Barneys have publicly applauded King for her graceful navigation into the spotlight despite harsh criticisms.
To learn more about the transgender community, visit GLAAD. Who is your all-time favorite model? Sound off below!