Changing the Face of Women in Advertising

Women’s fashion branding is defying the previous socially constructed boundaries and heading into a more inclusive and representative territory. It has recently been announced that LGBT ambassador Caitlyn Jenner will be collaborating with women’s fashion including H&M and beauty giants like MAC Cosmetics in two new global campaigns.

Caitlyn Jenner shocked the world when she came out as a transgender women to Diane Sawyer in April 2015. Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, Olympian and Kardashian patriarch, she had dealt with years of gender dysphoria. Jenner has since gone through hormone replacement therapy and cosmetic surgery to live out her authentic feminine mental state and lifestyle.

Jenner has had a lucrative high profile in the media, thanks in part to her involvement on Keeping Up With The Kardashians for so many years prior. This exposure has catapulted Jenner into the media spotlight becoming an unofficial voice and emblem for the transgender community. She has been featured as Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2015, one of Glamour’s 25 Glamour Women of the Year, on Time magazine’s eight-person shortlist for 2015 Person of the Year, and won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award during the 2015 ESPY Awards, all of which caused considerable controversy.

Caitlyn Jenner embraces her role as an influencer pertaining to gender status and wants her visibility to bring attention to gender dysphoria and violence against transgender women, as well as promote relevant LGBT conversation. She will be a part of a new sports campaign for H&M and will be debuting her own signature lip color for MAC Cosmetics. According to a statement from H&M, Jenner was selected to illustrate inspiration and infinite possibilities in both sports and life. Given Jenner’s accomplished athletic history and identity struggles, it is fitting. 

This is not the first time H&M and MAC Cosmetics has worked with transgender women. H&M hired model Andreja Pejic to walk in their runway show earlier this year, while MAC has worked with TV personality RuPaul. These companies decision to include Caitlyn Jenner in their advertising is setting a groundbreaking precedent, given her virility over the past year. This precedent will influence advertising to head into a more diverse and representative era, reflective of the diversity and individuality of women everywhere. The fashion and beauty industry has considerable influence on society. H&M and MAC Cosmetics are leading the way to push gender fluidity and acceptance into the mainstream, and Caitlyn Jenner’s high-profile endorsement is the first of many steps towards what is predicted to be a large change in the way fashion will be marketed in years to come.


AAF Illinois