We met Caitlyn Jenner less than a week ago, her landmark Vanity Fair cover debut capturing the attention of readers and the Internet hivemind alike. The impact was instantaneous, spawning dialogue, support and scrutiny across the country and well beyond.
Amid the chatter, roommates Crystal Frasier and Jenn Dolari offered the world a shift in perspective, not to mention a much-needed reminder.
Creating the hashtag #MyVanityFairCover with a matching tumblr, Dolari and Frasier began collecting trans women’s self-made Vanity Fair “covers” showcasing the diversity of the trans community – something not only worth recognizing, but celebrating.
Building on Dolari and Frasier’s “Call me ____” template, numerous submissions poured in from users like Kat Smith and Ahsante Sanofka, generating a movement to expand mainstream media’s representation of beauty and the trans experience.
“Ever since Vanity Fair announced their Caitlyn Jenner’s cover story, many trans people have voiced their concerns that the world only seems to embrace us if we’re wealthy enough or lucky enough to adhere to white, cisnormative beauty standards,” the pair wrote in a post accompanying their own covers.
“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.”
That critique, Dolari qualified in a subsequent post, was not meant to “slight” Jenner.
“It was a serious call for a focus on more varied stories of transition,” Dolari explained.
And if you ask us, it’s well past time to answer that call.
Images courtesy of Tumblr