Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf was hired as a new face for L'Oréal Cosmetics in late August, and fired a week later for a Facebook post she wrote after the Charlottesville attacks about the enduring legacy of racism. In the post, she said that she "didn't have the energy to talk about the racial violence of white people," because most white people "don't even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour.[sic]" The post went viral, and L'Oréal broke their partnership with Munroe with an All Lives Matter-type argument, saying her comments on systemic racism and white supremacy were "at odds with [their] values." Cool diversity campaign, L'Oréal!
To add further injury, after her post went viral, Bergdorf was inundated with racist, transphobic slurs and abuse on her social media. She told Dazedthat in this turbulent and trying time, she took solace in Maya Angelou's immortal poem, 'Still I Rise:'
"Her voice helped drown out a lot of the noise going on around me. I was inundated with constant transphobic, racist and violent threats. Still I Rise is a poem that I have always felt close to. But for the first time, I truly felt every single word that she was saying. This is exactly where I am at in my life right now"
And don't you worry, because following this ugliness with L'Oréal, Munroe HAS risen again. Less than two weeks after her firing, she was hired by rival cosmetics company, Illamasqua, which she announced on Instagram with one of the most perfect "you mad?" facial expressions we've ever seen. What can we even say, but yes queen.
She shot a beautiful recitation of 'Still I Rise' with Dazed saying, "I hope that this recital finds someone else in need to Maya's words, I hope it eases their pain like it did mine."
Watch Munroe Bergdorf's recitation of 'Still I Rise' below...