Munroe Bergdorf: The Transgender Model Changing The World

By Amelia Slater

7th September 2020

Munroe Bergdorf: The Transgender Model Changing The World

Munroe Bergdorf is the transgender model and activist who was awarded ‘Changemaker of the Year’ at the 2018 Cosmopolitan Awards.

Born and raised in Essex (where the TOWIE cast and the likes of Mark Wright, Sam Faiers, Chloe Sims and Chloe Brockett first made a name for themselves) Munroe Bergdorf is mixed race and advocates against racism and fights for the rights of black and transgender people.

munroe bergdorf

Image Source: /Fast Company

How Did Munroe Bergdorf Start?

After working in Fashion PR for three years, Munroe begins gender transitioning from a man to woman at the age of 24-years-old.

Then, she ends up featuring on an episode of Drag Queens of London.

Together with making her TV debut, she co-founds the nightclub Pussy Palace.

 

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Image Source: /Instagram @munroebergdorf

She Wanted To Diversify The Modelling Industry

Irritated by the lack of diverse representation in the modelling industry, the beauty enters the modelling scene, first working for a Lebanese couture company.

Notably, the London Evening Standard labels her as ‘a cornerstone of London’s trans scene’.

 

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“Only respecting women you’re attracted to isn’t respecting women…”.

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Munroe Bergdorf Made A Name For Herself Becoming The First Transgender Model To Front A L’Oréal Campaign In The UK

In August 2017, Munroe made headlines after becoming the first transgender model to front a L’Oreal campaign in the UK.

At the time she wrote on social media:

‘Thank you L’Oréal Paris for giving me this platform. I hope it reaches another little eight-year-old trans girl and makes her feel a little more hopeful and a little less scared about her future, than what was installed in me when I was her age.’

Image Source: /Instagram @munroebergdorf

Controversy Over Public Statements & Being Dropped By L’Oréal

In February 2018, the model sparks controversy. She posts a statement on Facebook that argues that ‘white people were brought up racist’, writing:

‘Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.

‘From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***’

‘Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege. Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk. Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears.’

Image Source: /Instagram @munroebergdorf

She continues:

‘Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears.’

Following the controversy, L’Oréal drops Munroe. Subsequently in 2020, the model calls the company out for posting that they stood in solidarity with the black community following the George Flloyd protests, noting that they hadn’t apologised for dismissing her.

Additionally, The University of Brighton awards her an honorary doctorate in July 2019 in recognition of her campaigns for transgender rights.

 

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Gold frills and @fentybeauty 💄🔥

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