Okay, okay–plenty of ladies from America’s Next Top Models have had something to do with fashion. But it’s rare that any of them do much more than other embarrassing shows and a couple commercials. In truth, Tyra Banks’ show does little for its contestants than jump start their reality TV careers and entertain whomever watches ANTM (apparently, somebody with a lot of network influence still is) with tall, thin twenty-somethings jumping on trampolines while smizing until their eyes bleed.
In any case, Isis King, the first transgender contestant of ANTM–which, I might argue, is probably the only thing ANTM is done so far that benefited other people besides Tyra and The CW–will soon be coming out with her very own fashion line. According to Huffington Post:
“Now I’m just really wanting the world to see my first talent,” King told OUT magazine, which named her to its OUT100 List for 2012. King is designing her own collection, although she’d rather not call it that: “I don’t want to push myself and say I’m showing a ‘collection’ and get so nervous about it. I think I’ll say I’m showing a ‘presentation,’” she joked to the mag.
First of all, I think it’s kind of snazzy that she’s being confident in her abilities without the obnoxious self-congratulatory attitude that pervades just about every reality star ever’s personality.
Second, I’m really excited about this line. In part, it’s because I think King has a great fashion sense, I’m interested in what her “presentation” will look like and I’m optimistic about it. Another part of me, however, is incredibly excited that a famous transgender person designing opens up a lot of doors that need opening.
For example, there is a painfully small number of transgender models. In the same way that we need more models to represent all sizes, we also need public figures to represent all genders. In order to open people’s minds to beauty that happens to involve a transgender person, there need to be figures in mainstream fashion that show it. When a small child sees an adult on the cover of a magazine whom they can relate to, they’re more likely to know that being transgender isn’t some freakish abnormality and that it’s never something to be ashamed of.
I remember reading Bobbi Brown: Teenage Beauty as a kid and the way that Brown describes the first time she saw a model whom she could relate to, being a tan brunette surrounded by images of pale blondes. It’s a relief to see diversity and change, as it allows us to know not only are many people similar to us, there are many people different than us and both are to be accepted and beloved.
Image via WENN.