Transgender blogger Crystal Frasier of Ramble On, Amazon invited her trans readers on Wednesday to create their own versions of the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover. Echoing Laverne Cox on Wednesday, Frasier was concerned that the world might only embrace transgender people if, like Jenner, they're rich, white and adhere to conventional beauty standards.
"[A] large contingent of the trans community has engaged in a lot of dialogue the past few days, ever since Vanity Fair announced their Caitlyn Jenner cover story, most of which revolves around the idea that the world only seems to embrace us if we’re wealthy enough or lucky enough to adhere to white, cisnormative beauty standards," Frasier wrote.
"But not all of us adhere to those standards. Not all of us want to. Not all of us can," she wrote. "Admiration and praise for trans women shouldn’t only come if we fit a narrow definition of beauty."
"Cisnormative" is a term that emerged from academic gender theory, and refers to people whose assigned gender matches the gender with which they identify. Transgender people do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
On Wednesday, transgender icon and actress Laverne Cox ("Orange Is the New Black"), wrote that when she was on Time magazine's cover last year, she got a lot of compliments for her looks. She wrote that lighting and angles allowed her to "embody a certain cisnormative beauty standard," but that not everyone can or wants to adhere to that standard, and "we shouldn’t have to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves." She also wrote that those beauty standards, rather than being universal, were determined by things like race and class.
The call went out with the Twitter hashtag, #MyVanityFairCover, and the following are some of the many responses:
— Marly-Jay MonroeⓂ️ (@marlymonroe) June 5, 2015
â€” Z Nicolazzo (@trans_killjoy) June 5, 2015
â€” Helen Highwater (@helen__schmelen) June 5, 2015
— Don Moore (@donnymore) June 5, 2015
— Nillin Dennison (@TheBattlecorn) June 5, 2015
— ᖇose ᖇeddington (@TheRedGrrl) June 5, 2015