Give Good Face

Meet Teddy Quinlivan, Chanel Beauty’s first openly transgender model

Teddy Quinlivan just landed a sweet gig: the out-transgender model will step in as a new face of Chanel Beauty cosmetics.

Quinlivan also becomes the first-ever out-trans model hired by Chanel. She took to Instagram to share the announcement with her fans.

“I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph,” she wrote. “This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me. My whole life has been a fight. From being bullied at school consistently, kids threatening to kill me and going into graphic detail how they were going to do it, my own father beating me and calling me a fagot, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job… This was a victory that made all of that sh*t worth it.”

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?CHANEL BEAUTY? -I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph. This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me. My whole life has been a fight. From being bullied at school consistently, kids threatening to kill me and going into graphic detail how they were going to do it, my own father beating me and calling me a fagot, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job… This was a victory that made all of that shit worth it. I had walked 2 shows for Chanel while I was living in stealth ( stealth meaning I hadn’t made my trans identity public yet) and when I came out I knew I’d stop working with some brands, I thought I’d never work with the iconic house of Chanel ever again. But here I am in Chanel Beauty Advertising. I am the first openly trans person to work for the house of Chanel, and I am deeply humbled and proud to represent my community. The world will kick you down, spit on you, and tell you you’re worthless. It’s your job to have the strength to stand up and push on, to keep fighting, Because if you give up then you will never experience the tears of triumph. Thank you to everyone who made this dream a reality! @nicolaskantor @shazmakeup @sebastienrichard1 @casadevallbelen

A post shared by Theodora Quinlivan (@teddy_quinlivan) on

In the same post, Quinlivan goes on to detail her early work on the runway living “in stealth;” that is, hiding her transgender identity. She also feared that coming out would damage–even ruin–her career as a model. Instead, she’s on the rise.

Related: Meet Victoria’s Secret’s first out-transgender model

“The world will kick you down, spit on you, and tell you you’re worthless,” she says with steadfast humility. “It’s your job to have the strength to stand up and push on, to keep fighting, Because if you give up then you will never experience the tears of triumph.”

In addition to her work with Chanel, Quinlivan has also appeared in campaigns for Milk Makeup, Redken, and Maison Margiela Fragrances. Her hiring as a spokesperson is just the latest in a number of fashion and beauty brands featuring transgender women as spokespeople. Earlier this year, model Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender model hired by Victoria’s Secret.