Brazilian actress and model, Valentina Sampaio has recently added another feather in her cap. 

On July 10, 2020, the Sports Illustrated magazine publicized Sampaio as one among the eight rookies for the Swimsuit 2020 issue.

The annually published issue features snaps of female fashion models, celebrities, and athletes on swimwear clicked at various locales around the world. 

23-year-old Sampaio is the now first-ever transgender model to feature on the Sports Illustrated magazine.

For the issue, Sampaio is wearing a swimsuit by TRIANGL and will be photographed by Josephine Clough in Scrub Island, Anguilla.

The coveted magazine is announced to be available on the newsstands and online on July 21, 2020.

In appreciation of her achievement, Sampaio expressed in her video that she was excited and honored to be part of the iconic Swimsuit Issue and that it was really ‘a dream come true.’ 

I feel strong, and I feel inspired to fight, not just for me but for everyone who faces discrimination. 

In addition, she emphasized that "being transgender" should be normal and widely accepted.

They see the person and the woman who I am. I want that one day, this (being transgender) is not important, that this is not new.

Talking about her Sports Illustrated selection, she also touched about the status of the trans community in her home country, Brazil. She said,

Brazil is a beautiful country, but it also hosts the highest number of violent crimes and murders against the trans community in the world—three times that of the U.S. 

In a live interview on Instagram on July 10, 2020, Anthony Ramos—the Talent Head of GLAAD—asked the rookie, "What this moment means for other transgender people?" Valentina replied, 

“I think it means that all trans people should believe that they can achieve anything that they want to achieve.”                                                                                          

Twitteratis Reactions On Valentina Sampaio's Sports Illustrated Issue

The magazine since its start in 1964 has been criticized for its objectification of women. Over the years, the magazine has taken a more inclusive approach to represent beauty.

Gradually, it has started to include models with different body shapes and ethnic backgrounds.

Now, after the announcement of Sampaio as a rookie in the 58th edition of the Swimsuit issue, varied opinions of approval and disapproval have been expressed Twitter.

Some Twitteratis have Condemned the Magazine 

 

Some Object To Body Objectification  

Voices In Support Of Valentina: Many Condem the 'transphobic' Comments   

Some Twitteratis also went on Reporting ‘insensitive’ comments that were made Against Her. 

While Some have Expressed Their Concerns Against Hate

 

Conclusion

The biased comments against Valentina's selection have truly validated what she expressed on one of her Instagram posts. She explained that the trans community was facing " insults, fearful reactions, and physical violations just for existing" and blamed lack of adequate opportunities and support for pulling the community back.

Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds. We face snickers, insults, fearful reactions, and physical violations just for existing. Our options for growing up in a loving and accepting family, having a fruitful experience at school, or finding dignified work are unimaginably limited and challenging.