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Autumn

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Valentina Sampaio Becomes First Transgender Model to Appear in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue

“To come from a space of fear and marginalization, to now being included in one of the most iconic magazines that truly embraces and celebrates diversity—it is life changing.”

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/models/a33276156/valentina-sampaio-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-issue-first-transgender-model/?fbclid=IwAR2fo30Bbf0DZ63AtSLI3O24cISg4xDplvAx9Dlq01gWcOBFD9sPBHbMnr4

In its 56 years, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has represented current standards of beauty, which have evolved throughout the decades. From Tyra Banks being the first Black model to grace its cover in 1997 to Ashley Graham being the first full-figured model to do the same nearly two decades later to Halima Aden being the first featured model to wear a hijab in 2019, the magazine has broken barriers in the modeling industry, catapulting the careers of these diverse faces.

For its upcoming issue, Sports Illustrated has enacted another first. Valentina Sampaio has been named a 2020 rookie and is the first transgender model to appear in the glossy’s pages. Indeed, it is another milestone for the 23-year-old Brazilian, who garnered the same distinction when she signed up to be the face of a Victoria’s Secret campaign last year.

“I was filled with so many emotions of happiness when I heard the news,” Sampaio told People. “The feeling was surreal. Being in SI Swim has always been on my bucket list of things to achieve in my career. It’s a dream come true on so many levels. SI has been a deeply meaningful achievement. To come from a space of fear and marginalization, to now being included in one of the most iconic magazines that truly embraces and celebrates diversity—it is life changing.”

Lensed by Josie Clough on Scrub Island, the editorial spread is one of many in an issue that celebrates diversity. Hyunjoo Hwang, Marquita Pring, Anita Marshall, Lorena Duran, Kim Riekenberg, Brooks Nader, Jospehine Skriver were also named 2020 rookies and appear in the magazine. But it is Sampaio who is making headlines—and deservedly so.



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