ActivismFashionSex & Gender

trans model munroe bergdorf hired by rival brand after being dropped by l’oréal for denouncing racism

September 14, 2017
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Beauty brand L’Oréal is in hot water this month after it dropped British model Monroe Bergdorf for implicating all white people in racism just days after announcing her as a face of the campaign. Bergdorf, who was the first transgender model to star in a L’Oréal campaign, had posted a since-deleted status on Facebook following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA that read in part:

“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people anymore. Yes ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this shit.”

Somehow, the hypocritical L’Oréal used this to claim that Munroe Bergdorf was “at odds with [it’s] values”—their excuse for firing her. They were probably so engrossed in white supremacy that they thought no one would back her up. They were wrong.

To protest Bergdorf’s firing, fellow model and DJ Clara Amfo, who starred in a campaign similar to Bergdorf’s last year, broke off with L’Oréal in solidarity. Then on Wednesday British brand Illamasqua announced the 30-year-old Bergdorf would be the face of its new campaign based around gender fluidity.

In a statement Illamasqua said: “Munroe embodies diversity and individuality; she is not scared to be truly herself. But Munroe doesn’t just stop there. She speaks out about the issues that affect not just her but the rest of our generation, seeking to improve the society we live in.”

“I don’t regret what I said. I’m an activist,” Bergdorf told The Guardian earlier this month. “Being an activist means calling people out, not just saying what everyone else is saying and what everyone else wants to think. L’Oreal knew that when they hired me.”

Well there’s no question Illamasqua not only knows that, but embraces it. Kudos to them!