Welcome to 2016 – where sexuality is fluid, gender lines have completely blurred, and a single nipple can start a revolution.
In this world, many queens rule the land – but none quite like Miss Hari Nef. At 5’9” the statuesque beauty stands to take the spotlight by storm and turn the whole fashion industry on its damn head. Yes, we are witnessing a superstar in the making.
Nef represents something new and by doing so she’s smashing fashion’s glass ceiling to smithereens—all while doing it with a painfully gorgeous face, a commanding saunter and an aura of an epic icon. As the first transgender to nab coveted spots in both IMG’s U.S. roster and Gucci’s Menswear show, Nef is taking the fashion scene by storm in unparalleled ways.
Just days after graduating Columbia University, the then-22-year-old signed with IMG—the agency that reps supermodels Gisele and Gigi—then flew to Stockholm to star in an all-trans campaign for &Other Stories AW15 collection. She also starred in Emmy Award-winning TV show “Transparent” as Tante Gittel – bringing to life the decadence and gender-fluidity of the Weimar-era culture.
As she wrote to Lenny Letter earlier this year, when first questioned about her role as a transgender model by Ivan Bart, president of IMG models, she reasoned, “I couldn’t remember when I’d stopped willing to be trans and started wanting to be trans. If there were a difference, I’d forgotten it. I want to work.”
Nef represents so much more than the grounds she is breaking and the gender-fluidity revolution she has helped create – she is a fashion and culture icon of a generation of “individualists”. She is redefining what it means to be a woman—the ideals, the standards, and the conversations the subject matter provokes. She talks about confidence and making a “radical bid for the feminization” when she chooses not to wear makeup. And how her transition has helped her find her voice and place in the world—something she always wanted. But perhaps what captivates us most about her is her authenticity in character, her effortless-cool attitude, and her ability to steal a spotlight. The girl is fucking stunning.
Sure, Hari is paving the way for trans people everywhere – but more than that, she’s paving the way for women. She is redefining gender constraints and teaching us how to feel beautiful despite all the ugly in the world around us. She is showing us how to be stronger, have more confidence, and accept ourselves the way we are. Or, god forbid, have some actual pride. If the modern world is shades of grey, perhaps Hari can serve as a light at the end of the tunnel.