"Here I am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY!"
A transgender YouTuber took a jab at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Thursday by modeling a set of glitzy pearl-colored lingerie and a pair of fluffy wings in a video that went instantly viral.
The streamer, Nikita Dragun, shared the video as a response to comments made by
Razek himself issued an apology only days later, but the public animus was not allayed.
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
In this context, Dragun's video, in which she parodies the iconic Victoria Secret's angels, is somewhere between a victory lap and dancing on a grave.
"Dear Victoria's Secret," she wrote, "you said trans women can't sell the 'fantasy,' so here I am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY!"
dear Victoria’s Secret,— Nikita Dragun (@NikitaDragun) December 5, 2018
you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here i am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY! pic.twitter.com/rKQHp7SLNq
Within a few hours, the video reached millions of eyeballs.
i will never have any other fantasies other than this one— justine (@biticonjustine) December 6, 2018
Dragun edged the debate in an interesting direction, perhaps unwittingly. In order to embody the "fantasy" that Razek had implied excludes trans women, Dragun packaged herself as a commodity targeting the male libido. Does winning the battle against exclusion mean self-objectification?
Whether self-sexualization can count as empowerment or not (the word itself connotes corporate marketing more than anything else, to my ears) is a question still contested in circuits both highbrow and low. But for transgender women, who wish to be included in the entire female experience, these discussions are secondary. The goal for them is, as Dragun put it, to "stand tall in who you are!"
everyone is beautifully unique. embrace your differences. stand tall in who you are! live your fantasy and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.— Nikita Dragun (@NikitaDragun) December 5, 2018
It sometimes seems as if the many identity groups of the Progressive coalition are fighting very different battles, doesn't it?
Adaam James is Pluralist's co-founder and senior editor. You can argue with him on Twitter.
(Cover photo: Nikitia Dragun's Twitter.)