Valentina Sampaio becomes Sports Illustrated’s first transgender swimsuit model

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A post shared by Valentina Sampaio (@valentts) on Jul 10, 2020 at 5:44am PDT

Valentina Sampaio made headlines last year as the first transgender model hired by Victoria’s Secret to represent their Pink brand. But before we get into Valentina’s specs and her new groundbreaking cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, can we talk about how Brazil keeps producing these stunning people? Like what are they eating over there? Is there some ritual where I have to sacrifice a baby goat or something? I am sure Sampaio found a kindred spirit in SI’s female editor, MJ Day, a champion of body positivity and inclusivity. Day made a statement in 2017 when she posted a picture of her bikini-clad post-pregnancy body on her Instagram account. Last year, she got supermodel Tyra Banks to come out of retirement to recreate her iconic SI cover. Tyra is hot and MJ is my new hero. Appearing on SI as the first trans model ever is just one in a series of firsts for Valentina:

In 2017 she became the first trans woman to appear on the cover of Vogue Paris. Two years later, she was the first openly transgender model to be hired by Victoria’s Secret. Now in 2020, 23-year-old Valentina Sampaio continues to break barriers in the modeling industry by becoming the first trans woman to be featured by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sports Illustrated is a respected brand in the modeling world. In the 56 years since special edition’s first issue, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has produced some of the most successful names in the business. Sampaio is joining the elite ranks alongside stars like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks. In Sampaio’s open essay on what it means to be part of SI, she praises the magazine for creating another issue that champions “a diverse set of multitalented, beautiful women in a creative and dignified way.” She says she is “excited and honored to be part of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.” While it means a lot to her to represent SI, she is even more inspired by the significance it has for the LGBTQ community as a whole. Sampaio, who hails from a fishing village in northern Brazil, is using her platform to fight for trans rights. She explains that the beauty of her home country is contrasted by the brutal hatred towards the transgender community. She says that in 2019 alone, 129 transgender people were murdered in Brazil.

[From CNN Valentina’s star will keep rising and with it a new champion for trans rights. I hope at some point she’ll write a tell-all book on Brazilian beauty secrets so that we all can benefit. It’s not fair that Brazil gets to corner the market in hotness. In all seriousness, I look forward to following Sampaio’s career because I know that this won’t be her last first. Embed from Getty Images//

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

A post shared by Valentina Sampaio (@valentts) on Jul 10, 2020 at 11:09am PDT


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A post shared by Valentina Sampaio (@valentts) on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:34pm PDT


Photos credit: Getty, and via Instagram

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10 Responses to “Valentina Sampaio becomes Sports Illustrated’s first transgender swimsuit model”

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  1. Priscila Bezerra-Fischer says:

    She is a beatiful woman and I am happy she is using the opportunity to speak against our country violent record when it comes to Trans- LGBT community.

    As for us being beautiful, we are also getting fat…brazilians have to work long hours and indulge in comfort food. But if you go to Rio, you will notice that brazilian men do like curvy, bigger girls and when they say we are beautiful, is more like we are overly confident people. Nobody gives a dam and women wear those tiny bikinis even when their bodies are not the standard.

    We have no shame.

    • Snazzy says:

      I noticed that when I was in Rio a few years ago! The women came in all shapes and sizes, and were all equally scantily clad (it was during Carnaval and so people were partying everywhere) and just oozed confidence. I was really impressed with the body positivity, and really made me think about the relationship I have with my own body

      • Priscila Bezerra-Fischer says:

        Yep! I mean, we do not have winters in Rio. It is either raining season, hot, or very hot. I made sure to wear as little as possible, lest I would melt! Lol. I like this aspect of the culture and is not like we do not care about health, is just we are extremelly indulgent people.

        If you go to the health crowd, you will also see the girls are bigger. They train buts and legs and tend to get massive- not only fat, but muscles.

  2. lola says:

    The photo looks great! I hope this is just the beginning for her and she’s the first of many.

  3. ChillyWilly says:

    She is gorgeous! Brazilians are some stunning people. They have great hair too!

  4. Melissai says:

    She’s beautiful and opening doors. Looking forward to seeing more inclusivity in the fashion world.

  5. Mel says:

    She’s so stunning! A total knockout, I too would love to know some of their beauty secrets because wow.

  6. Ariel says:

    She is a beautiful young woman.

  7. Cate says:

    She is crazy beautiful. So happy that she is getting acceptance and opening doors for trans people. I need to but some Brazilian water or something lol.

  8. TeamMeg says:

    She’s so pretty!