First Trans Model to Pose for Victoria's Secret Says Brazil Is A "Diverse but Prejudiced Country"

Valentina Sampaio says that her success is a victory for all of society

São Paulo

The city of New York, where she lives alone, is nothing like the small fishing village where she grew up in Ceará with six brothers. But although Valentina Sampaio's professional goals lead her far away from her family and country, she remains close to them.

She didn't dream of pursuing modeling in childhood. Valentina customized her clothes. So she wanted to be a clothes designer. In a massive blow to the discrimination suffered but transexuals, Valentina became the first transsexual to pose for the Victoria's Secret fashion label in August this year.

Valentina Sampaio (Foto: Lucas Seixas/Folhapress).

Today, when she returns home, she is proudly welcomed by the neighborhood that has seen her grow. "Although I have an apartment in New York, I live more inside the plane. My suitcase is always with me. It's all very unpredictable." She travels the world, but she makes a huge effort not to forget her roots.

Valentina rose rapidly in the world of modeling and entertainment. She won a role in the movie "Berenice Quest," released in 2018, acting alongside actresses Claudia Abreu and Vera Holtz. She moved to Sao Paulo, where he paraded in SP Fashion Week for the first time in 2016. She began building an international career and has lived in the United States for over a year.

"Brazil is a very diverse country but very prejudiced. We [transsexuals] don't have the same space in society. We are marginalized, seen as perverted, that kind of scandalous program-making thing, a negative image."

"So being Victoria's Secret's first transsexual isn't just my victory, not just the trans community's. It's a victory for all of society to see that that inclusion is possible."

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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