Laverne Cox's Response to Caitlyn Jenner Nails Unfair Beauty Standards

June 2nd 2015

Laura Donovan

Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce) had an incredible start to the week.

On Monday morning, Vanity Fair teased its July 2015 issue by sharing the magazine cover of Caitlyn's worldwide debut on social media, prompting Caitlyn Jenner's name and the hashtag #callmecaitlyn to begin trending almost immediately. Jenner went on to receive tons of praise on Twitter and even beat President Barack Obama's record of gaining a million followers in five hours.


So, it's been a great week (and month of June) for Jenner so far. More good news came for Jenner on Tuesday morning when transgender "Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox published a blog post regarding Jenner's transition and what it means for the trans community.

Cox opened the entry with a side-by-side shot of Jenner's Vanity Fair cover next to her TIME magazine cover story from May 2014:

Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner side-by-side magazine covers

"I am so moved by all the love and support Caitlyn is receiving," Cox wrote. "It feels like a new day, indeed, when a trans person can present her authentic self to the world for the first time and be celebrated for it so universally."

Cox went on to note that some people have focused on Caitlyn Jenner's gorgeous looks, with certain people even joking that she's better-looking than ex-wife Kris Jenner. Cox stressed that it's important to embrace Jenner's inner courage and beauty rather than obsess over her exterior.

"Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful," Cox wrote. "[B]ut what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities. The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me."

Cox added that she experienced a similar response last year when she graced the cover of TIME, and many seemed to suggest that she was too pretty to fully represent the transgender community. Cox also acknowledged that not all trans people will match her or Jenner in appearance, wealth, or name recognition.

"A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am 'drop dead gorgeous' and that that doesn’t represent most trans people (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I’ll certainly take it)," Cox wrote. "But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards...It is important to note that these standards are also [informed] by race, class and ability among other intersections."

"This is why we need diverse media [representations] of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities," she continued.

I started #TransIsBeautiful as a way to celebrate all those things that make trans folks uniquely trans, those things that don’t necessarily align with cisnormative beauty standards. For me it is necessary everyday to celebrate every aspect of myself especially those things about myself that don’t align with other people’s ideas about what is beautiful. #TransIsBeautiful is about, whether you’re trans or not, celebrating all those things that make us uniquely ourselves. Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have. It is those trans folks we must continue to lift up, get them access to healthcare, jobs, housing, safe streets, safe schools and homes for our young people. We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of color who are poor and working class.

After Cox's post went live, she retweeted a tweet thanking her for understanding the struggles "lesser privileged trans people" often face:

For more on the challenges facing transgender Americans, check out our video on on the fight for gender-neutral bathrooms.

Why We're Still Fighting Over Bathrooms

Haven't we seen "separate but equal" before? Learn more about the reviling fight against gender neutral bathrooms here: http://bit.ly/1zHUc2j

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, January 29, 2015