Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair
Since Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover hit the Internet, the image has been shared millions of times over and sparked just as many conversations about the transgender population. Soon after, Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox wrote an inspiring Tumblr post praising Caitlyn for her bravery, but she also used it to warn the media that it's dangerous to try to define what makes a person beautiful, especially when it comes to the transgender community.
(With the release of her Vanity Fair cover, Caitlyn has chosen to publicly identify as a woman and E! News will refer to her using female pronouns. In stories published prior to this date, Caitlyn was referred to as Bruce and male pronouns were used.)
"Now, there are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards," Cox writes. "More importantly many trans folks don't want to embody them and we shouldn't have to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves. It is important to note that these standards are also infomed [sic] by race, class and ability among other intersections."
Empowered by the message that everyone has a different story to tell and a different idea of what "real beauty" means to them, Tumblr users Crystal Frasier and her roommate Jenn Dolari created the #MyVanityFairCover campaign that is currently taking over social media.
"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," Frasier wrote. "But not all of us adhere to those standards. Not all of us want to. Not all of us can. Some of us do, but only out of fear. Some of us do but we aren't sure why. And whether we fit those standards or not, we're beautiful, and we all deserve to feel beautiful, and be acknowledged by the world. Admiration and praise for trans women shouldn't only come if we fit a narrow definition of beauty. As a good friend of mine said Monday 'Where's my Vanity Fair cover?'"
So Frasier made a cover for herself, and uploaded templates so other transgender women could pose for their own Vanity Fair cover and tell their story. The #MyVanityFairCover trend was born and it spread like wildfire. Soon, social media was filled with Vanity Fair covers from all over the world and from women from all different backgrounds. Tumblr has never looked so wonderfully colorful.
You can see all the beautiful posts from the #MyVanityFairCover by tracking the hashtag on Instagram and Tumblr. If you want to make your own Vanity Fair cover to introduce yourself and tell your story, Crystal made templates to do just that in her original Tumblr post.
Learn more about what it means to be transgender from GLAAD.
If someone you love is transgender, contact PFLAG.
If you are a transgender youth in crisis, contact The Trevor Project.
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