Photo by Luke Nugent
Photo by Luke Nugent

Munroe Bergdorf










36 years






What makes Munroe Bergdorf a Global Shaker?

Munroe Bergdorf is a British model and activist. Bergdorf, a mixed-race woman born of white and black Jamaican parents, made history in 2017 by becoming the first transgender model to be hired under L’Oreal. Soon after, however, she was famously dropped after commenting on Facebook that all white people are guilty of “racial violence and that the white race was “the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth.”

The posts were picked up by The Daily Mail and L’Oreal quickly fired her from its campaign and Facebook removed her posts which they regarded as “hate speech,” a type of harassment that Bergdorf was no stranger to in the form of racism and transphobia.

Nonetheless, she was backed by an army of supporters arguing that The Mail had quoted her out of context and that her wider point about white supremacy and white privilege in Western societies was valid and needed wider dissemination.

Proving her impact, her supporters followed her advise to boycott L’Oreal and she was soon hired by Ilmasque — a brand not afraid of her bold activism.

She has since appeared on numerous talk shows where she calmly and unflinchingly articulates her views on race and gender. Soon after her dismissal from the beauty brand she appeared on the daytime TV show, Good Morning Britain (she became a commentator on the show in 2019) where she famously clashed with Piers Morgan — who became offended when she suggested that as a white man he was subconsciously racist and sexist.

The fallout from the L’Oreal row has propelled Bergdorf into the spotlight and as the got to girl for when anyone needs input from an LGBT+ perspective.  In February 2018, she was appointed as an LGBT adviser to the British Labour Party but resigned the following month because of tabloid pressure and cruel attacks on social media.

Munroe continues to raise awareness around racial inequalities and crusade for the rights of the LGBT+ community, regularly writing for the world’s most respected news outlets. She is also a prominent voice in the body-positivity movement and campaigns to see more diversity in all areas of fashion and the media. In May 2019 she unveiled the community platform, GODDESS, to support LGBT+ and non-binary people and to help crowdfund for those wanting to transition. 

Tags: Body Positivity, LGBTQ+

Last updated: March 31, 2020