In the latest victory for female empowerment, British transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf launched a lingerie line to show that anyone can be a sexy woman.
WATCH: WATCH: ‘Trans Activist Ambushed by Angry Feminists: You’re Making Little Girls Cut Off Their Breasts’
The 31-year-old glam star, who is L’Oreal’s first transgender model, announced the “#LoveYourself” campaign on Instagram Wednesday, touting (next to pictures of herself in varying translucent undergarments) “empowerment” as its true goal.
“This is a lingerie campaign championing female empowerment, no matter what your size, shape, sexuality, race or gender identity,” Bergdorf wrote. “All women are the fantasy, no exceptions!”
The campaign is supported by Bluebella, an international powerhouse for sexy women’s wear, but with an eye toward social justice. According to Bergdorf, the company “champions diversity of shape, race, gender and ability.” (Bluebella’s homepage, however, flaunts models who are quite lean, white, and able. Their cis-ness has not been confirmed.)
“True diversity is the future,” she wrote. “Let’s leave any form of discrimination or exclusion in the past.”
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Proud and excited to announce that I am collaborating with @bluebella to front their new #LoveYourself campaign. This is a lingerie campaign championing female empowerment, no matter what your size, shape, sexuality, race or gender identity. All women are the fantasy, no exceptions! #LoveYourself #Bluebella #Lingerie
According to Bergdorf, the campaign is about flouting judgment. Talking to the UK’s Metro, she explained that what she finds “so amazing about lingerie is that it can really emphasize your own femininity.”
“I’m proud to be part of a campaign that is encouraging all women to feel empowered and sexy in their own ways, on their own terms. I’ve never felt so sure of myself or as empowered as a human being as I do now,” she said. (Are you keeping track of the “empowered” count?)
She said that in the past her transition made her self-conscious.
“I was scared of the masculine parts of my body but it has changed so much during the process,” she admitted. “I’m now in a position where I don’t care about other people’s opinions on my appearance. I care about the opinions of the people that matter to me, but not so much of people walking down the street. If someone knows I’m trans I don’t feel ashamed of that any more. I think it’s something to celebrate and it’s a part of me.”
Bergdorf’s statement can be seen as a rebuke of senior Victoria’s Secret executive Ed Razek who controversially told Vogue in November that he’s not expecting to see transgender models on his company’s annual fashion show. “No. No, I don’t think we should,” he said. “Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”
Her campaign shows an individual’s power to redefine and assert their identity (especially when backed by the wealth and marketing force of a fashion empire). But not all feminists are likely to embrace a transgender woman’s advocacy on their behalf. Whether this bullish, beauty-centered, hyper-individualistic concept of empowerment truly serves as a goalpost for young women in search of meaning and affirmation is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.
WATCH: I’m a ‘Role Model for Young Girls’ – Disney Starlet Refuses to be ‘Slut Shamed’ for Sexy Bedroom Video.