Who Makes History as Sports Illustrated’s First Trans Model?

Elmira | 11 - 11 - 2020
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The groundbreaking Brazilian model Valentina Sampai makes history as Sports Illustrated’s first trans woman to grace SI’s pages and soon will be featured in the swimsuit issue of the magazine. The 23-year-old model is constantly making history in the fashion industry. Sampaio happily shared this announcement on her Instagram with her new photo from the shoot and also added an extract from her personal essay that she shared with Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated’s First Trans Model

 

Which Magazine Will Feature Valentina Sampai in the Swimsuit Issue of 2020?
  • A. Sports Illustrated
  • B. Vogue
  • C. Vanity Fair
  • D. Cosmopolitan

She also mentioned on Instagram that “I am excited and honored to be part of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue,” added further “The team at SI has created yet another groundbreaking issue by bringing together a diverse set of multitalented, beautiful women in a creative and dignified way.”

She is recognized as a famous transgendered supermodel. She clearly wrote on her Instagram, “I was born trans in a remote, humble fishing village in northern Brazil. Brazil is a beautiful country, but it also hosts the highest number of violent crimes and murders against the trans community in the world – three times that of the US.”

She continued by sharing her struggles and challenges as a transgender individual “Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds. We face snickers, insults, fearful reactions, and physical violations just for existing. Our options for growing up in a loving and accepting family, having a fruitful experience at school, or finding dignified work are unimaginably limited and challenging.”

Sampaio is going to make her debut in Sports Illustrated along with seven “Rookies,” including Lorena Duran, Marquita Pring, Kim Riekenberg, Brooks Nader, Anita Marshall, Hyunjoo Hwang, and Josephine Skriver.

She started her modeling career when she was attending Fashion College in Brazil. She covered the March 2017 Vogue Paris magazine. She was the first transgender to feature on the magazine’s cover. She also recognized as the first transgender model to be a part of Victoria’s Secret in 2019.

In one of her Instagram videos, she showed how Brazil’s community has hatred and brutality towards the transgender community. She stated 129 transgender people were killed in the country in 2019.

Sports Illustrated is known as a reputed brand. Models like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum also appeared in the magazine. As reported by an AFP, for several years this magazine only featured white models, now it becomes diverse now.

She expressed her struggles and problems which the members of the LGBTQIA community face in her home country. “Brazil is a beautiful country, but it also hosts the highest number of violent crimes and murders against the trans community globally — three times that of the U.S.,” she told the magazine. “Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds.”

Her activism played a vital role to impress Sports Illustrated editor MJ Day to appear in this year’s lineup. Mr. Day told Vogue that “We are deeply moved that Valentina was willing to put her trust in us,” “We didn’t think twice about wanting to amplify her voice and message and give her a platform to advocate from on behalf of her personal aspirations and the trans community.”

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