Hey, have you seen the new E! show Model Squad? If you missed last Thursday’s episode, let me fill you in a bit. Victoria’s Secret model Devon Windsor, who is most definitely white, inserted herself into a conversation that models of color were having about diversity. If you think she doesn’t know much about the subject, you’re right! One of the other models even told her she couldn’t really relate, but she insisted she could—after all, she is blond. Wait. What?
In the episode, Shanina Shaik, whose ancestry includes Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, was telling some of the other models how, when she was younger, people would tell her she’d never do high fashion because of her skin color.
Windsor responded by saying that she “literally f**king went through hell” because for two years she lived in “different countries every other month.” This was especially trying because she didn’t speak the languages, like Italian and “Paris.”
She also felt she could relate to the struggles of models of color because she’s blond, which is apparently a hellish thing to be. Maybe not completely naturally blond, I guess, because as she complained, “You know how hard it is to be blond? I have to get a highlight every month! Do you know how expensive that is?” That statement prompted another model, Ping Hue, to say, “Oh my God, tiny violin.” The TINIEST violin, truly.
Another (white) model, Olivia Culpo, tweeted a defense of Windsor, writing, “Please understand information can be taken out of context & misconstrued to manufacture drama.”
But Windsor eventually realized how off base she was and issued an apology on Sunday via Twitter.
Things on “reality” TV shows are often edited in ways that make conversations seem more dramatic than they really are. Things can be taken out of context. But still, complaining about being blond to women of color who’ve had it much harder than you is in poor taste. It’s a nice apology, though, so maybe she has learned her lesson.