LGBT

Trans People Are Creating Their Own Vanity Fair Covers With #MyVanityFairCover

“Admiration and praise for trans women shouldn’t only come if we fit a narrow definition of beauty.”

1. Laverne Cox recently began a dialogue on her Tumblr concerning the beauty standards surrounding trans women in light of Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover.

2. “It is important to note that these standards are also informed by race, class and ability among other intersections. I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can,” wrote Cox.

3. Tumblr users were quick to continue the conversation, with two users creating their very own Vanity Fair cover with a modified headline: “Call me _______.”

 

4. “I’ve felt frustrated and useless and overwhelmed by opinions on transgender women and how we’re ‘supposed’ to look if we want to be taken seriously,” Tumblr user Crystal Frasier wrote along with her very own cover shot.

View this embed ›

5. The #MyVanityFairCover hashtag was a collaboration between Frasier and her roommate Jenn Dolari, who tweeted this after seeing Jenner’s cover:


“It just sort of clicked that we hadn’t seen many people care about minority trans women who don’t fit a very set definition of attractive, or trans women from poor backgrounds who struggled with long, difficult transitions, or trans women who don’t pass,” Frasier told BuzzFeed News.

“Now there are two more images of what transition means, from two people who didn’t have Jenner’s experience or resources. Mine is a frumpy Mexican from San Antonio who could never afford surgery. The other went through terrible hardships to get where she was today,” added Dolari.

6. Frasier and Dolari urged others to use their template and share their own images to “show the world the myriad faces of the trans community.”

I made templates for all trans folk. Download! Share! Tag! #MyVanityFairCover http://t.co/yP5d7AXfTH http://t.co/z5MPWCJiyk

— Crystal Frasier (@AmazonChique)

“Originally, we were just hoping other trans women would take it as a sign of solidarity and a reminder that we all have value, but we’re happy that it speaks to trans men and non-binary folks too,” Frasier said of the template idea.

“These are stories I want to see out there. To let the public know that we are worthy of our own covers, our own articles, our own stories,” Dolari concluded.

7. Tumblr users didn’t hesitate to create their very own cover images.

8. “Not all of us can or even want to adhere to western cisnormative beauty standards. This doesn’t make us any less beautiful, or any less valid as women,” writes Nadia.

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9. Noëlle writes, “I certainly don’t feel like I deserve a Vanity Fair cover, but I’m putting this up here anyway because that’s the whole point, isn’t it?”

I’ve seen a couple of these pass my dash at this point, and almost all of them have been photos of women who, at least in my opinion, do adhere to white, cisnormative beauty standards. So I decided to go as far from that as I could. I’m not wearing any makeup. I haven’t shaved in two days or showered since yesterday. My glasses need cleaning and I have mosquito bites on my face. My hair is frizzy, I have dark circles around my eyes, my eyebrows are thick, and I’m pretty sure my head is actually just an eggplant. (And apparently my laptop’s built-in camera is terrible.)

I certainly don’t feel like I deserve a Vanity Fair cover, but I’m putting this up here anyway because that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

13. “Call Me Erin.”

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“Most of us don’t even get to parse as our gender identity to most people we meet, let alone fit in those standards, so while showing people who do in magazine covers can help raise visibility to the community as a whole, it also perpetuates those unhealthy standards and sets expectations not all of us can or even want to meet. And if you think about it, the same is true for cis women as well,” Erin told BuzzFeed News.

15. “Call me Connie.”

#MyVanityFairCover https://t.co/cIbVtA7Mlu

— Connie Anne McEntee (@ConnieMcEntee)

17. “Call me Levi.”

trans people are everywhere #MyVanityFairCover

— levi // they (@boycotlife)

“I think everybody is happy that Caitlyn is happy,” Frasier concluded. “This is in no way any kind of critique on her life or choices, but this is a great moment to remind everyone — especially trans kids who might be taking in a message that their worth is based around their ability to look white and cisnormative — that trans people come in a huge variety and we all deserve love, attention, and understanding.”

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at sarah.karlan@buzzfeed.com.
 
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