Emira D'Spain Responds to Backlash After Making History as Victoria's Secret First Black Trans Model
HERstory has been made again! Popular TikTok star Emira D'Spain recently made history as the first Black transgender model for Victoria's Secret.
The announcement came earlier this week in honor of Black History Month and has been a hot topic ever since! D’Spain, took to Instagram to confirm the partnership, stating how she is "honored to be the first black trans girl working with Victoria's Secret" and how it is a dream come true. D'Spain even shows appreciation for Valentina Sampaio, who was named the first transgender model for Victoria's Secret in 2019.
However, though this historic moment is a cause for celebration and congratulations, unfortunately, there is controversy regarding D'Spain's race/ethnicity, due to her racial ambiguity.
Someone who is racially ambiguous does not possess the stereotypical physical qualities of their supposed racial category; which is the case for D'Spain, who was born in Dubai and raised in Texas.
After the good news was officially announced and accompanied with photos of D'Spain, many people took to social media with questions of whether or not she is "really Black". Some people are upset, while others seem to be confused.
Some, aren’t even upset at the “Black” title, as they claim to be more so upset with her fair skin and Victoria's Secret lack of representation for Black girls with darker complexions. Noticing the backlash and confused comments, D'Spain took to her own social media to clear up the confusion.
Back in June 2020, a time where so much hardship hit the Black community, Emira addressed her race in an Instagram post, with photos of her and her family. The lengthy caption begins with an explanation of her mother's background and explains how she is often mistaken for other ethnicities:
"For those of you who don’t know, I am half black. My mother is from Eritrea, East Africa and half of my family still lives there. While I am not as connected to my Habesha culture as some of my relatives - I still am proud of where I come from and celebrate it daily. I often get mistaken for other races/ethnicities - Hispanic, Arab, Persian, and so many more...."
The caption continues with a summary of growing up racially ambiguous and acknowledging privileges she has obtained throughout her life. She also discusses dealing with racism, how she is proud of her race, and the importance of sharing her story.
Let's send love and light to Emira and congratulate her on such a huge accomplishment. Let's uplift and celebrate as we continue to break down doors they said we couldn't! Happy Black History Month Gayes!