Bisexual artist fights for inclusivity

Halsey denigrates Victoria’s Secret after a comment excluding transgender models from the show

More stories from Stephanie Janssen


Photo by BBC News

Halsey performing at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

In a recent interview with the chief marketing officer of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, Ed Razek, Razek said he did not believe the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show should feature transgender models.

“The show is a fantasy,” Razek said. “It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world.”

Halsey performed in the Nov. 8 show, but, according to BBC News and Entertainment Weekly, upon hearing of the lack of inclusivity for models, Halsey released a statement on Dec. 2 on Instagram demonstrating her support for the LGBTQ community.  

“Some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore,” Halsey said. “As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity… If you are a trans person reading this… we stand in solidarity.”

As of late, Halsey has been an strong, known figure for the LGBTQ community. Having her support in the media for the LGBTQ community is so special to see, especially being a bisexual person myself.

Later, Razek apologized for the comment on Twitter, saying he “would cast a transgender model for the show.” He added that he does “admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”

A less than a month later on Dec. 2, the fashion show aired on ABC. After the airing, Halsey posted a statement on Instagram in response to Razek’s comment. Additionally, she mentioned how these statements work to other the LGBTQ community and linked her post to GLSEN, an organization which provides services and resources for LGBTQ youth.

For me, when I look at Victoria’s Secret marketing and the models they use, I see that, yes, they include some women of color, but they are exclusive to women from around the world and only include the “skinny” body type that does not account for all body types. If Victoria’s Secret wants representation in their fashion show, then they should have all body types included, such as plus-size women like me, transgender women and women of color.

I absolutely love that Halsey spoke out publicly about this. Having her use her privilege and power in society to stand up for the community I belong to was very moving for me personally. Seeing this inspiring bisexual figure stand up for my community and me was touching.

So Halsey, thank you for using your influential voice to spread the word to my community that what Victoria’s Secret is doing not acceptable under any circumstances.

Janssen can be reached at [email protected].