Culture

Hot, Plus-Size Latinas Redefining Beauty

plus size latina models
@fluvialacerda/Instagram

They’re sexy and they know it. Get to know these voluptuous and daring, plus-size Latina models who are making heads turn.

Fluvia Lacerda

#tbt for Mar&Nua Barcelona ?✨? #QuintaDaNostalgia ??????????? #Spain #Espanha

A photo posted by ✨Fluvia Lacerda✨ (@fluvialacerda) on

Denise Bidot

Rosie Mercado

Griselangel Paula

Jakaliene Rivera

Natalie Monet

Nicole Zepeda

On the runway! #plusnightout2013 #plusmodel #igigi #runway #nicolezepeda #msamodels #msacurve

A photo posted by Nicole Zepeda (@nicolezepedatx) on

Victoria’s Secret Is Officially Eating Its Words After Hiring A Trans Model To Represent Its Brand

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Victoria’s Secret Is Officially Eating Its Words After Hiring A Trans Model To Represent Its Brand

@valentts / Instagram

Several times in the past, Victoria’s Secret has come under fire for the hiring practices of their models. For instance, the underwear company has been accused of not hiring women of color — especially dark women — for their campaigns. Also, they have made disparaging comments before about hiring plus-sized and transgender models to display their products. 

However, with the addition of its newest model, it seems that the brand has had a change of heart– or is, at least, trying to win back ours.

Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio has been confirmed as the first trans model to be hired by the company for any of their lines or campaigns.

Instagram / @valentts

Last week, the model posted a photo of herself on her Instagram, causing fans to speculate about the collaboration. In it, Sampaio tagged Victoria’s Secret’s Insta and added the hashtags #vspink, #campaign, and #diversity. She also posted a video of herself days later with the caption “Never stop dreaming genteee” along with the hashtags #staytuned, #vspink and #diversity.

Despite these posts, her partnership with the lingerie brand wasn’t confirmed until Monday. 

Sampaio’s agent, Erio Zanon, confirmed with CNN that the model has been hired by Victoria’s Secret for a campaign. The campaign is set to be released in mid-August 2019 and the brand’s popular PINK line is reported to be its target.

Hiring the Brazilian as a new face of their brand is a huge departure from Victoria’s Secret’s very recent exclusionary stance.  

Twitter / @ConLaGenteRos

Back in 2018, Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer for Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, created controversy with certain comments he made during an interview with VOGUE. When asked about adding plus-sized models and trans models to their yearly Victoria’s Secret special or to their advertisements, Razek rejected the idea. 

“It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this?” the marketing officer asked hypothetically. “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”

Razek later apologized for his comments after the trans and LBGTQ communities pushed back on his offensive words. In his official statement, he clarified: “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show came across as insensitive. I apologize. To be clear, we would absolutely cast a transgender model for the show.”

Supporters of the brand’s decision to hire Sampaio were quick to celebrate the partnership for the history maker that it is.

Twitter / @Lalaribeiro16

Fellow Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro sent her congratulations to the newest Victoria’s Secret’s model on her incredible news. In a tweet from her personal Twitter account, the Latina posted a screenshot of an article describing the Latina’s new job with the caption, “First transgender to shoot with Vs! This makes me so happy!” We’re ecstatic that Sampaio has the support of other models during this new and challenging role. 

Fans on Twitter were also happy to learn of Victoria’s Secret’s historical hire and shared their hope that it would lead to other important diversification.

Twitter / @JorgeMarceloBl1

 As this tweet points out, the hire is way past due. Our society is becoming more noticeably diverse and, with the change in dynamics, our marketing and entertainment should also reflect these differences. Just like this Twitter user, we are looking forward to the day that Victoria’s Secret hires plus-sized women, more Black and brown women, and disabled people to rep their runways. 

Still, we can’t help but admit that this hire could partially be driven by the poor reaction to their earlier anti-trans sentiment. 

Twitter / @ThePrinceLogan

Twitter user points out that the lingerie brand has been losing big money for a while now. After a disastrous 2018, Victoria’s Secret announced in April of 2019 that they would be closing over 50 stores by the end of the year. This inclusion of a trans model could be seen as pandering to an untapped demographic in order to get their sales up. 

However, we’re reminded that progress is progress no matter how it comes about. 

Twitter / @SunjazzD

Whether this is a hire with an ulterior motive or not, the fact that Sampaio has been brought on as the first trans model for Victoria’s Secret is huge. Progress should be celebrated no matter how it comes about and we’re certain that Sampaio will make a heavenly addition to the lingerie brand’s team.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmPDFBzZKao

This Popular Models Was Often Rejected From Swimsuit Jobs Because Of A Lunar On Her Hip But She Put Her Foot Down In Hopes Of Improving Mental Health In The Industry

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This Popular Models Was Often Rejected From Swimsuit Jobs Because Of A Lunar On Her Hip But She Put Her Foot Down In Hopes Of Improving Mental Health In The Industry

Instagram / @murielvillera

The beauty and fashion world can be cruel. Muriel Villera would know. The swimsuit model has been in the industry for 10 years and has repeatedly been turned away from opportunities because of a birthmark on her thigh. But in one of her latest shoots, she didn’t just snag a major gig — the brand also fully embraced her body and skin — sans Photoshop.

“This entire shoot was a dream, but the fact that my birthmark wasn’t photoshopped out of any of the images just made it 10000000 times more incredible,” Villera, 28, wrote of her recent shoot for UK-based fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing on her Instagram.

murielvillera

In the photo, the stunning Colombian model is donning a diamond- and rhinestone -gilded orange two-piece bathing suit that bares her slight dark pigmentation on her upper right thigh.

According to the Los Angeles-based beauty, the birthmark has cost her several gigs over the years. For the ones she landed, Villera said her skin was often edited.

“Booking a swimsuit job wasn’t the easiest and when it did happen, my birthmark would be completely edited out,” she told the Daily Mail.

murielvillera / Instagram

Rejections occurred so often that her team sometimes suggested her to take dangerous measures to remove the birthmark.

“My agents would ask me to buy any sort of make-up or bleaching creams to ‘fix’ it,” she said.

Regardless of being a beautiful model with tens of thousands of followers, the industry’s negative response to her skin made her “feel like it was such a curse.” That’s why she was so thrilled to work with PrettyLittleThings, which recently announced it would stop editing out all stretch marks, birthmarks, and scars from its models.

“Working with brands like PLT has given me hope, though, for the future of modeling and the mental health of those who work in the industry,” she said.

murielvillera / Instagram

While adoring her skin fully was a yearslong challenge, she said her birthmark is hers and she has grown to love it.

On her instagram, she left followers with a message she hopes will inspire them to similarly appreciate the parts of themselves that society has deemed less than perfect.

“Embrace everything about yourself. It’s kinda magical when you do,” she wrote.

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