Victoria's Secret model slammed for 'tone-deaf' comments on diversity
It was recently revealed that Victoria's Secret has booked their first model with Vitiligo to walk their highly-anticipated annual Fashion Show, with Winnie Harlow set to join the rest of the angels. The lingerie brand will have one of its most diverse shows ever, and yes – while they're still the tall, leggy girls with incredibly toned bods that we're used to seeing – this year, models of all kinds of backgrounds and ethnicities will be storming the runway.
However, one model who's worked with VS for the past six years doesn't seem to quite understand the significance of it all, and has recently come under fire for some very tone-deaf remarks about diversity.
Devon Windsor, a white model who will be doing her sixth VS show in a row, has been criticised for complaining about the difficulties she's experienced as a blonde to a group of models who were talking about the discrimination they've faced as women of colour.
The moment was captured on E!'s documentary series, Model Squad, where a group of models including Olivia Culpo, Daniela Braga, Ping Hue, Ashley Moore, and Shanina Shaik were talking about how their industry has slowly become more accepting of a greater array of models.
Despite that, the girls were discussing how they've faced discrimination by brands who are still reluctant to book models who aren't white, when Devon chimed in with a totally ignorant anecdote of her own.
"What are you guys talking about?" Olivia asked. "Diversity," Ping answered. Shanina continued to tell a story of how she was bullied due to her skin colour, being told she'd never be able to book jobs with high-fashion brands.
"A lot of black girls would have to miss Milan because we wouldn’t be able to walk in the shows because [designers] didn’t want girls that colour," she explained.
It was a refreshing conversation to see aired on television, with the girls openly talking about the persistent issues in the industry in an honest and civil manner. That is, until Devon butted in.
The 24-year-old from Missouri complained about living abroad (in Paris and Italy, boo hoo!) and not knowing the language, and then made an absurd comment about how "hard" it is to be blonde.
"I literally f*cking went through hell and literally lived in different countries like every other month and didn’t speak that language," she said. "I didn’t speak Paris, didn’t speak Italian. And I did that for like, two years."
When the girls responded that it didn't seem as if she could really "relate" to what they were talking about, Devon defended herself by attempting to point out the difficulties that come with having blonde hair.
"You know how hard it is to be blonde?" she exclaimed. "I have to get a highlight every month! Do you know how expensive that is?"
As you can imagine, viewers were not happy with her remarks.
She since issued an apology on Twitter, though some are speculating whether the words are really hers since they don't believe a person who said "I didn't speak Paris" would use the same language.
Olivia also defended Devon, saying the conversation was "misconstrued to manufacture drama" on the show.
Regardless of what Devon's intentions were, her contribution to the conversation shows a lack of respect to a serious issue. Think before you speak, I say.