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.
"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.
Tumblr users were quick to continue the conversation, with two users creating their very own Vanity Fair cover with a modified headline: "Call me _______."
"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.
The #MyVanityFairCover hashtag was a collaboration between Frasier and her roommate Jenn Dolari, who tweeted this after seeing Jenner's cover:
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."
"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.
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?
"Call me Miranda."
"Call me Mia."
"Call Me Erin."
"Call me Aaron."
"Call me Connie."
"Call me Jake."
"Call me Levi."
"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."