Justice

This Model Just Shattered a Huge Bias in Fashion

November 12th 2015

By:
Taylor Bell

Angolan model Maria Borges shocked everyone Tuesday when she became the first model to step onto the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show runway wearing her natural hair, CNN reports.

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The 23-year-old decided to forgo her wavy extensions and do something different for her third appearance on the famous catwalk.

"I told my agent that I wanted to walk in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show with my natural hair," Borges told Essence. "I was nervous but I had to do it. When they said, 'yes,' I didn't expect it but I was so happy!"

Fans poured out support and news outlets called the decision a history-making moment for Victoria's Secret.

A day prior to the show, Borges let fans know about her decision via Twitter.

Many are celebrating the move as a win for diversity in the fashion world.

Although many women of color wear that hairstyle all the time, it was finally represented and embraced on one of the world's largest stages for beauty.

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In an interview with Elle magazine Borges reflected on the significance of her decision:

It was very important for me to walk the show wearing my [afro]. The huge amount of love and support I've been receiving, whether it's in the fashion industry itself or on social media, truly warms my heart and motivates me to be a voice for all the women out there. At the end of the day, we each have a different definition for beauty, but being yourself is the most important. Beauty type or hair styles constantly evolve through time. Hence, a woman shouldn't be reduced to the current trends.

Borges provided a spark of diversity for Victoria Secret, but the fashion industry still has a lot of work to do. In the fall, 80 percent of models casted were white, 7.4 percent were Black, 7.4 percent were Asian and 2.9 percent were Latina.

The Victoria Secret Fashion Show premieres December 8 on CBS.

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