Transgender model Carmen Carrera dreams of Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated

carmen carrera model
Carmen Carrera wants the world to know she’s more than just a pretty face.
Credit: Producer Entertainment Group

Transgender superstar Carmen Carrera didn’t make it to the runway in this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Wednesday night, but that doesn’t mean she’s giving up her dream of becoming the lingerie company’s first transgender Angel. “Next year’s another year,” Carrera told Metro. “I’m definitely going for it no matter what.”

Carrera’s goal of becoming a Victoria’s Secret model made headlines after a fan started a petition on Change.org asking the brand to make her its first transgender model. The petition had more than 38,000 signatures — what had started as a whimsical Facebook post by Carrera became much more.

Carrera said though she always dreamed of being a Victoria’s Secret model, she didn’t take it seriously until after she modeled a runway show by designer Marco Marco during Los Angeles Fashion Week. “I was unsure of myself when I got offstage,” she admitted. “But when I watched it back, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m giving Victoria’s Secret model’ and I shared it on social media and asked, ‘Oh I think I can! What do you guys think?’ and that’s where this all came from because my fans said, ‘You’re right, Carmen,’ and I thought, why not?”

Carrera said she loves Victoria’s Secret’s annual fashion show because of the high production value. “They’re amazing,” she gushed. “The lighting, the costume, the way the models walk — and that’s how I felt after the Marco Marco show.”

carmen carrera model
Carmen Carrera wants the world to know she’s more than just a pretty face.
Credit: Producer Entertainment Group

Carrera first became famous when she joined the cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2011. She came out as a transgender woman in 2012 and her star continued to rise as she joined Elite Models, an agency that represents supermodels like Monica Bellucci, Hilary Rhoda and Agyness Deyn. She was profiled in W magazine in August; the feature was appropriately titled “Showgirl.”

“Growing up, I never had a specific dream and my dreams were always changing, but I always wanted to do shows or some form of entertainment,” said Carrera. “I grew up in an apartment complex so I was always around a lot of people, and I’d do little things like put on shows for other kids in the court.”

But the last person who expected this level of fame is Carrera herself. “I never thought about it. I never thought this would happen,” she said. “I found myself working with great artists like Steven Meisel and Pat McGrath and it just kind of happened.” She’s had plenty of role models along the way, not least of all her mother. Carrera also counts makeup artists Scott Barnes and Pat McGrath, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian for beauty, early ’90s Mariah Carey and of course RuPaul as influences.

Carrera pays it forward, as well. She stays in touch with Marco Regalado of Merced, Calif., who started the petition. “Honestly, if I had walked this Victoria’s Secret show, I would have made my manager get [Marco] to come with me — that one dreamer,” she said. “I’d want to share that moment with him.”

Though Carrera has countless fans, she still gets bothered by her detractors and cyberbullies, especially people who insist on calling her a man. “It makes me angry because even when you’re 100 percent sure of something, someone who’s ignorant comes along with the strongest opinion and you’re like, ‘What are you talking about? You sound so stupid,’” she vented. “I don’t like to use words like that, but people can be so ignorant and passionately against something when most people don’t know transgender people, have never met a transgender person and don’t know anything about it.”

She added that some people claim that she tries to use her sexual identity for fame. “It’s not something I want to exploit, that I was born male for attention,” she said. “They come in and argue with my fans and it’s like, ‘You’re crashing my party and you gotta go.’”

But the haters won’t stop her from living her dreams. For now, Carrera is busy spending time with her 9-year-old stepdaughter (“She’s so smart and she teaches me so much,” she gushed), and she has big plans for the future. “I want to do Maxim Top 100. I want to do Sports Illustrated. I want to be on People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. I want to do it all.” Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio better watch out.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Masked men robbed armored car in Mayfair, police…

Two masked men made off with more than $100,000 this morning after an armored car heist in Northeast Philadelphia, police said.

International

Putin fields question from NSA fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Teen in 'Jihad Jane' terror case to be…

A judge on Thursday is set to sentence a high school student who pleaded guilty to helping al Qaeda and working with the woman known as "Jihad Jane."

National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Going Out

Tickets on sale for Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival…

It may be hard to believe but spring weather is finally just about here, which in Philly means festivals every weekend — including the annual…

Music

Center City Jazz Festival takes over four venues…

Shortly after graduating from Temple University, jazz musician Ernest Stuart packed up his trombone and headed to New York City. Soon he was gigging and…

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

Parenting

Star-studded summer camps

Give your child the star treatment this summer with a celebrity-endorsed camp.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…