Zuri Tibby is Victoria’s Secret Pink’s first black spokesmodel, which only took 14 years
Victoria’s Secret is known for its frilly bras that fall apart after one wash and the tall, thin, overwhelmingly white models who show them off at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. Well, a mere 14 years after launching its offshoot for young women, Zuri Tibby will be Pink’s first black spokesmodel. The 21-year-old Florida native announced the news on Instagram two weeks ago, writing, “So excited to announce that I am the newest face of @vspink!!!” And it only took until 2016.
“I feel very proud and honored that a lot of other women of color look up to me,” Tibby told Cosmopolitan’s Maya Allen. “It’s so important to inspire people. When young girls look at magazines and advertisements, it’s important to see girls that look like them. It’s very encouraging.” She’s also pushing for more natural hair to grace the runway, saying she would walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with a totally natural do after Maria Borges did just that last year. “In most of my photo shoots, I wear my natural straight hair. I think my hair is beautiful either way,” Tibby told Cosmo. “Natural hair is something everyone should embrace. It’s celebrated more now than it ever has been before.”
It’s kind of shocking that Pink hasn’t had a single black spokesmodel since launching in 2002. Although it has had models of color (just not as the face of the brand), it seriously took the company more than a decade to realize women of color wear underwear too (shocking, I know!) and might want to see a non-white woman representing a major lingerie brand that’s in pretty much every mall in America.
Tibby was discovered in a Florida mall when she was 15, and has previously modeled for Rihanna’s Stance line, the United Colors of Benetton, and Becca Cosmetics.
A photo posted by Zuri (@angelzuri) on
In the name of not being so completely white, Victoria’s Secret also hired its first Filipina model, Janine Tugonon, who appeared in a recent back-to-school commercial. The 26-year-old former Miss Universe runner up grew up in Bataan and moved to the U.S. to study pharmacology before starting to model.
At least VS is slowly — very slowly — making some changes to its casting choices.