Trans Model Carmen Carrera Is Transforming Fashion
Like most women, Carmen Carrera finds it a little rude when strangers ask questions about her genitals. But Carrera, a reality TV star, model, and, potentially, one of next year’s Victoria’s Secret’s “angels,” is trans, which means people ask her about them anyway.
I got the chance to talk gender—and fashion—with Carrera a few days ago during a Skype date. The call connected and I asked her to go on video. “I look like shit,” she whined, and then went on. Needless to say, she does not look like shit. She’s already got the mermaid-like Victoria’s Secret waves going on, and she has on minimal makeup, with the exception of black eyeliner and mascara. It’s a Saturday evening, and she wears a bare-bones, gray spaghetti strap top—the uniform of an off-duty Cindy Crawford in the 90s. Carrera seems to be getting more famous by the week, thanks to some of the amazing work she’s done lately. Plus, her fans made a petition calling for her to become the first trans Victoria’s Secret model.
Although she’s obviously been quite successful at this point in her career, Carrera still struggles with intense insecurity issues, and is constantly fighting the labels people try to stick to her. I ask her if there’s one thing she can’t stand being asked in the flurry of media attention.
“Yeah, when they ask me if I got the sex change surgery. It’s kind of weird. At the beginning of my transition when people would ask me, I would answer. But now, it’s kind of getting to the point where I don’t think that that’s relevant. Like, I wouldn’t sit here and ask you about your genitals.”
Jihad Selfies: British Extremists in Syria Love Social Media
After being publicly sacked by al Qaeda leader Aymann al-Zawahiri and accidentally beheadinga fighter from one of their main allies in Syria, it’s fair to say the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)’s PR campaign has suffered in recent weeks. So, like any half decent group of militant extremists, they obviously want to address this slip. Unfortunately, a traditional media outreach is very difficult for them, given ISIS’s policy of kidnapping journalists. So they’ve turned, like many before them, to social media.
Over the past few weeks, foreign fighters from ISIS and their subgroup the Muhajireen Brigade have been busy uploading selfies across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, in an effort to publicize their cause and win more recruits to the Syrian jihad. They offer a bizarre and fascinating look inside Syria’s most feared and least understood militant groups.
On paper, the Muhajireen Brigade are separate to ISIS, but they’re considered by some analysts to be a front group for the larger jihadist outfit. The social media evidence seems to support this view.
This picture (above) shows British fighter Ibrahim al-Mazwagi in battle with Omar Shishani, a Georgian Chechen who formerly led the Muhajireen Brigade, and is now ISIS’s military commander in Northern Syria.
Al-Mazwagi was killed in battle in February, aged 21. This is a collage made to honor him as a martyr, along with his friend and fellow casualty, Abu Qudama.
Above are two other recent British martyrs, Choukri Ellekhlifi, 22, and Mohammed el-Araj, 23. The pair are shown here at a jihadist internet café in Atmeh, a Syrian border town that is now firmly under ISIS control.
Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four world markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. While the content in these magazines are nearly identical, the covers are not, with those intended for American audiences often being quite … different.