A month after a Victoria’s Secret executive stirred up controversy by proclaiming that the brand didn’t hire transgender models in order to preserve the ‘fantasy,’ one trans model is firing back wit a fantastic shoot of her own.
Ahead of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last month, exec Ed Razek said he doesn’t think plus-size or trans models should walk at the event ‘because the show is a fantasy,’ and viewers don’t have ‘any interest in it’.
Trans YouTuber Nikita Dragun begs to differ, however, and made her point with a very steamy video mimicking the brand’s own holiday ads.
Gorgeous: Transgender YouTuber Nikita Dragun created her own Victoria’s Secret-inspired holiday lingerie video
Sexy: The influencer modeled white lingerie and angel’s wings while Christmas music played
Take that! Nikita explained that she made the video in response to controversial comments by Victoria’s Secret executive Ed Razek
Razek was speaking to Vogue when he made the inflammatory comments in early November, answering questions about the line-up’s lack of diversity and inclusiveness.
‘If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have.
But when considering criticism he’s heard asking, ‘Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show?’ he was quite adamantly against it.
‘No. No, I don’t think we should,’ he answered. ‘Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.
‘It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader.’
Hmm… Razek said he didn’t think trans models should be in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since they wouldn’t keep with the ‘fantasy’ element
Sparking fury: ‘It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us,’ he said
Yikes: Nikita was one of many critics to take issue with his statement
Wow! She released her video rebuttal on Instagram this week
‘We attempted to do a television special for plus sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it. Still don’t,’ he went on.
‘Everybody keeps talking about Rihanna’s show. If we had done Rihanna’s show, we would be accused of pandering without question.’
Razek’s comments, unsurprisingly, inspired outrage on social media, where many criticized him for being small-minded and pointed out that he is a man dictating who should sell lingerie and clothing to women.
One of his critics is Nikita Dragun. On Thursday, Nikita took to Instagram to share her own Victoria’s Secret-inspired video.
The clip was shot to look just like the brand’s famous holiday ads, and was shot in a dark, empty mansion with luxurious-looking chandeliers and stairwells.
Nikita, dressed is lacy, sparkling white underwear and a pair of angel’s wings, poses and flips her hair as the classical Christmas song Carol of the Bells plays.
Hitting back: ‘How’s this for fantasy, Victoria’s Secret?’ she countered in the caption of her saucy video
Taking a stand: ‘I’m here to prove wrong Ed Razek, the company’s chief marketing officer, and show that any woman — trans, plus size, whatever her age — can serve fantasy,’ she said
You tell ’em! ‘The message here that every woman needs to hear: You are beautiful, you are sexy and you are worthy, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,’ she said
She looks every bit the VS model, pouting and preening in front of a win machine.
‘How’s this for fantasy, Victoria’s Secret?’ she barked back in a statement. ‘I’m here to prove wrong Ed Razek, the company’s chief marketing officer, and show that any woman — trans, plus size, whatever her age — can serve fantasy.
‘Every single woman is beautifully unique, and the sexiest thing she can do is own her curves, embrace her differences, and stand tall in exactly who she is.
‘The message here that every woman needs to hear: You are beautiful, you are sexy and you are worthy, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.’
She certainly seemed to prove him wrong on one count: That no one wants to see what models like her have to offer. Nikita has 3.4 million Instagram followers, and the video has been viewed 4.4 million times and counting.
Later, she posted another snap from the shoot with the caption ‘Nikita’s Secret,’ and thanked social media users for their ‘love and support’.
One size fits all: A trans model has never walked in the show, and the brand doesn’t cast plus-size models, either
Upset: Several models have spoken out to call for more diversity, with Winnie Harlow (left) saying she hopes it becomes ‘the norm’
‘I would’ve never imagined this kind of response,’ she said. ‘This is not a hate campaign, but instead PROOF that ANY woman (trans or not) is a fantasy! Be ur own angel.’
Nikita has been incredibly open and honest about her transition on social media and on YouTube, recently discussing her ongoing battle with plastic surgery ‘addiction’ in a candid clip.
Explaining how hard she found her hormone replacement therapy, Nikita revealed that she has undergone ‘everything’ as far as gender transition surgeries, but that she keeps feeling as though she needs to get more done.
Nikita isn’t the only person with a platform to hit back at Razek and Victoria’s Secret.
Leyna Bloom, another trans model whose campaigned to join the show and went viral in April, went off on Instagram.
‘This is the moment where all trans people should abandon this brand, this is the problem of our society today,’ she wrote. ‘I’m disappointed, because I thought you were the leaders and now I know your the problem, and I’m thankful for you for revealing your secret [sic].’
Both Lily Aldridge and Karlie Kloss posted graphics in their Instagram Stories that read, ‘Trans and GNC [gender non-conforming] people are not a debate,’ while Kendall Jenner posted an image with the words ‘Celebrate trans women.’
Apology: Razek later issued a statement walking back his words
Shortly after he gave the interview, Razek released a statement in which he walked back his previous comments — though many were still unsatisfied, especially given his use of passive language.
‘My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive,’ he wrote.
‘I apologize. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings… And like many others, they didn’t make it… But it was never about gender.
‘I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are,’ he concluded.