Calling out structural racism must be good for the pores.
Less than two weeks after L’Oréal Paris fired Munroe Bergdorf for speaking out about white supremacy, the British model landed a new gig with a beauty company that wasn’t founded by a nazi. Illamasqua announced Wednesday that Bergdorf would be the new face of the makeup brand’s upcoming Beauty Spotlight campaign, Dazed reports.
“Excited to announce that I am one of the faces of the next @campaign,” Bergdorf tweeted just after the stroke of midnight U.K. time, along with a gorgeous photo of her with a multicolored victory roll that would make Dita Von Teese say “gimme.”
In late August, L’Oréal announced that they were adding Bergdorf and four other models to the ad campaign promoting their True Match foundation, making Bergdorf the first trans woman to represent L’Oréal in a beauty campaign. Within a week, they dropped Bergdorf after a totally on point Facebook post she penned about dismantling white supremacy in the wake of Charlottesville went viral among completely unreceptive corners of the white internet.
Valuing white dollars over black trans inclusion in a campaign hinging on diversity, L’Oréal terminated Bergdorf over Twitter, adding that they “[champion] diversity” nonetheless. Note to fellow white people: Firing black trans women for speaking out about their oppression is not championing diversity!!!! Related: Hire trans people of color!!!! Their unemployment rate in the U.S. is four times (20%) the national average (5%), according to the National Center for Trans Equality’s 2015 survey.
In case you only read the racist telephone game of media coverage surrounding what Bergdorf actually said, here’s some of what she posted in response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, per Mic: “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes all white people Most of y’all don’t even realize or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of color Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***. Come see me when you realize that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.”
Illamasqua, a beauty company that has worked with Bergdorf in the past, stood with the model from the moment L’Oréal dropped her, tweeting: “We are angered to hear that Munroe Bergdorf has been dropped from the L’Oréal True Match Campaign In order for our generation to move forward and create a more inclusive society, [it’s] not just about showing diversity. We must all be free to talk about social issues in a constructive and tolerant way.” DJ Clara Amfo, another new face in the L’Oréal campaign, requested that she be removed from all promotional True Match imagery in solidarity with Bergdorf, Mic reported.
INTO has reached out to Bergdorf for comment on her new campaign. We’ll update the story if we hear back. In the meantime, please read Raquel Willis’ brilliant piece for INTO on the whole ordeal, “When Diversity Becomes An Empty Word.”