Earlier this week, white Russian editor and entrepreneur Miroslava Duma found herself facing criticism for posting a note from white Kazakhstan-born couturier Ulyana Sergeenko that endearingly referred to her as the n-word, seemingly unaware of how problematic it was.
Following the incident, footage of Duma from 2012 was unearthed which saw her addressing a group of students and calling trans model Andreja Pejic and blogger Bryanboy “weird” for wearing women’s clothes, and speaking positively about censorship to prevent young children from seeing such things. Pejic – who had made a name for herself as an androgynous model but was not yet out about her transgender status – has now responded, taking to Instagram to share her thoughts on the video.
“I won’t say it wasn’t hurtful,” she wrote. “However instead of focusing on this blatant ignorance, I couldn’t help but realise the contrast between the state of our business today in comparison to 2012.” She goes on to talk about how far the industry has come, noting some of her highlights and reminiscing how different things were back in 2010 for her and fellow trans model Lea T.
She acknowledged that Duma had made an apology for the comments made (“I’m as shocked as anyone to be viewing that footage today, and to see for my own eyes how utterly offensive and hurtful my actions were back then,” she said).
The model then went on to address those who might be struggling with their gender identity and might not have the resources to pay for medical care. “Please remember, chin up ALWAYS! Evolution is no stranger to our cause and one day we’ll see revolution.”
We applaud Pejic on not dwelling on negativity and continuing to use her platform to speak out for those who are often underrepresented. And we’re happy that a lot has changed in the industry over the past six years.
Read the full statement – as well as one from Bryanboy – below.