Transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf is unveiled as Cosmopolitan UK’s 50th anniversary cover star: Model discusses ‘race, gender and femininity’ as she poses in ethereal gowns in landmark issue
Model Munroe Bergdorf has showcased her effortless sense of glamour as the cover star of Cosmopolitan UK’s 50th anniversary magazine.
The transgender activist, 34, beams in a figure-hugging red dress in the special anniversary edition of the publication, on sale from 21st January.
She has also posed in a series of other striking photographs snapped by esteemed London-based photographer Jordan Rossi, while joining in discussions about the last five decades with three writers.
Cosmopolitan has received a stream of praise on Instagram for selecting Munroe, who won ‘Changemaker of the Year’ at the brand’s 2018 Influencer Awards as their cover star on one of their most significant issues to date.
Munroe (pictured), who won ‘Changemaker of the Year’ at the brand’s 2018 Influencer Awards, stuns in a series of outfits with ruffles in the snaps taken by Jordan Rossi
Munroe (pictured) speaks to three writers about race, gender and ‘femininity’ over the past 50 years, while revealing hopes for the future to be more inclusive
A new era: Munroe Bergdorf, 34, (pictured) showcases her effortless sense of glamour as she is unveiled as the cover star of Cosmopolitan UK’s magazine
In one image the model dons head-to-toe pink, while another shot sees Munroe embrace her inner rock star in black leather and heels.
The 50th anniversary cover also pays homage to Cosmopolitan UK’s first ever issue from March 1972, in which author Jilly Cooper also looked chic in crimson red.
‘Whether it be finding a fulfilling career that pays fairly, developing happy and healthy relationships, or fighting for equality and respect, the topics Cosmopolitan has long championed are just as important now as they were in 1972.
‘Whatever their sexuality, gender identity or background, Cosmopolitan will continue to empower our audience to demand more from the world around them, challenge the status quo and advocate for a diverse and inclusive world, free form prejudice. It’s in our name, after all.’
Those interviewing Munroe Bergdorf include writer, stylist and consultant Aja Barber, who deals with the intersectionality of sustainability in fashion, Vic Parsons who is a gender and identity reporter at PinkNews, and River Gallo, a filmmaker, actor, model and intersex rights activist.
When asked by River about her vision for the future, Munroe, who is transgender, said society needs to think about ways to interrogate their bias and ‘build a system where all of us can win’.
Cosmopolitan UK’s 50th anniversary edition of the magazine pays homage to their first ever cover, which shows Jilly Cooper (pictured) in a red dress against a matching background
The model continues, saying: ‘I believe in the people. I believe a lot of the issues we are currently seeing are being enforced by the 1 per cent, and the 1 per cent are not indicative of everyone.
‘I believe the people want trans inclusion, racial equality, to end misogyny so women and girls feel safe walking home at night. I don’t think we have ever been as enlightened as a people as we are now, even if there is a lot of misinformation around.
‘I do feel like the spark has been lit. Less people are passively accepting what they have been presented with and that’s an incredible thing. It shows there’s only so long that people can hold on to a world that doesn’t exist any more, before embracing a new one.’
‘I don’t want to be a token, the first and last – there needs to be a plan in place to incorporate that inclusion long-term.
‘Now, so many young trans people have people they can look up to and they can see themselves in. [They can] think, ‘I may not want to be a Hollywood actress or an activist, but it’s a possibility for me and I can dream as big. I can do whatever I want to do, because they achieved what they wanted to achieve.
‘Hopefully, somewhere, there’s a young trans girl looking at this cover thinking, ‘I can do it too and who I am is not going to hold me back.
‘There’s no one way to be trans. When I began my transition, I felt pressure to assimilate into what society deems to be a woman. I wish someone had just told me, no matter how I dress, how I look, if I’ve got make-up on or if I don’t, I’m still a woman. In every single iteration of my being.’
Munroe (pictured) said she hopes the cover inspires other trans people to pursue their dreams, while admitting that she once felt pressure to assimilate into what society deems to be a woman
Muroe (pictured) said social media has given marginalised people a voice and has spread awareness of how society functions
Munroe (pictured) said conversations about trans-rights need to be happening in person and in the mainstream
Munroe revealed that her own life experiences have taught her much, while admitting to feeling frustrated about sometimes being the only trans person in the room.
Munroe explained her belief that social media has been beneficial in giving marginalised people a voice and has made us more aware of how society functions, however she warned that we aren’t fully aware yet of the long-term implications of the platforms on our mental health.
She called for conversations about trans-rights to be had in the real world and in the mainstream.
‘To do that, we need to platform trans voices – we can’t keep being subjected to this nonsense of non-trans people offering up their opinions on a community they’re not part of. Trans rights do not have a negative impact on cisgender people. Trans equality is everyone’s equality.
Many Instagram users have gushed about Munroe Bergdorf being their favourite cover of Cosmopolitan UK
‘It is access to healthcare, it’s equal education in schools. There’s this idea that we as trans people are making people trans, and it’s the same rubbish that was peddled with the gay, lesbian and bi community.
‘The reality is, if someone’s trans, they’re trans. So by teaching an accurate depiction of the way the world is, you are preparing people for their own realities.’
Cosmopolitan UK has been praised for choosing the outspoken model to champion their February issue, with one person commenting: ‘This is just the most brilliant thing! Absolutely love to see it!’
Another said: ‘Once a game changer ALWAYS a game changer! Congratulations you absolute queen’
‘Beyond thrilled for you, the most incredible cover,’ a third commented.
A fourth wrote: ‘OMG! My fave cover of yours yet!’