Project Runway’s Tim Gunn is both openly gay and a staunch supporter of the LGBT community.
Which is why MANY were surprised when he recently admitted he’s against the use of transgender models in the fashion industry!
What the whaaaa??
He doesn’t even think Barneys’ spring campaign, which stars 17 transgender models, was all that progressive!!
Why? In his opinion, Barneys' clientele is already fairly accepting (which he said even in light of their racial profiling issues btw), which he explained by saying:
"I feel that these are people who are already 'on the team.' I think it could be more impactful if Target or Kmart were to do such a thing."
While it WOULD be hugely impactful if Target or Kmart embraced gender diversity, that doesn't mean Barneys isn't making a dent!
Because even IF what he says is true of Barneys shoppers, their ad campaigns are still far-reaching — especially with the help of modern-day media!
But his words against transgender models didn’t stop there. He went on to criticize the use of models like Andrej Pejic, who’s known for modeling both mens and womens clothing.
His reasoning, however, was purely anatomical:
"The fact that fashion designers would put basically adolescent-shaped boys or men in women's clothes is head-scratching for me because, anatomically, women and men have different shapes. So, to be looking at women's fashion on a tall, skinny guy with no hips, there's no way you can project yourself into those clothes. It underscores all of those body issues that we know women have. It's the world telling us that there's something wrong with us and that we'd look better in our clothes and the world would think us more beautiful if we looked like this. I think it's horrible."
Quite frankly, it’s hard for people to project themselves into advertized clothing regardless thanks to the industry’s obsession with tall, skinny models.
And Andrej Pejic herself doesn’t buy into Tim’s anatomy argument!
She tweeted the following in response:
As you can see, Andrej brings up several valid points.
First, using transgender models is simply a way to incorporate diversity. It’s the same reason disabled models are important — sure, they may not be the majority, but they challenge beauty standards and dissipate stigmas against entire communities that are deemed “different”.
Second, while specific genders may have gender-oriented body types, there ARE males out there with more feminine hips, and females with more masculine hips! And it’s hard to make an argument about what a model’s body “should” or “shouldn’t” look like in an industry with already skewed beauty standards.
In conclusion, the transgender community deserves to be represented in the fashion industry just as much as anyone else!
And they’re slowly but surely becoming more so, despite what Tim Gunn thinks.
For example, CLICK HERE to see eight transgender models who are changing the fashion game!
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