The Next Top Model franchise has worked to break major barriers in the fashion industry ever since queen Tyra Banks started the series 12 years ago, celebrating diversity with contestants of all sizes, races, skin conditions and disabilities gaining attention in the cut-throat industry.
Season 8 of Holland’s Next Top Model has taken the franchise another step in the right direction, crowning transgender model Loiza Lamers on Monday night in a world-first for the series. She followed in the footsteps of Next Top Model’s first-ever transgender contestant, Isis King, who was part of the US version in 2008’s Cycle 11.
Loiza had actually refrained from sharing that she underwent gender reassignment until she made it into the top 13, as she wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. “I’m really at a point where I can say I am very proud to be transgender,” she told the show’s host at the time. And so she should be. (more…)