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A Victoria's Secret Model said she could relate to models of color because she has to 'highlight her hair every month'

INSIDER logoINSIDER 9/12/2018 sheller@thisisinsider.com (Susanna Heller)
Devon Windsor walking down the street: Devon Windsor (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) © Provided by Business Insider Inc Devon Windsor (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  • Devon Windsor, a Victoria's Secret model, is being criticized for saying that she felt she could relate to the struggles models of color face because she has to "highlight her hair every month."
  • In an episode of "Model Squad," an E! documentary series that follows models during New York Fashion Week, Windsor and a group of models discussed diversity in fashion.
  • "I know it's super hard to relate to," model Ping Hue said to Windsor, in regards to diversity.
  • Windsor replied that she "literally went through f------ hell" traveling to different countries around the world, dealing with language barrier because she doesn't speak Italian or "Paris," and having to "highlight her hair every month."
  • Windsor has since apologized via a Notes app screenshot on Twitter.

Devon Windsor, a Victoria's Secret model, is being criticized for saying that she felt she could relate to the struggles models of color face because she has to "highlight her hair every month."

Windsor made the controversial comments during an episode of "Model Squad," an E! documentary series that follows models during New York Fashion Week. In the clip, which has since been posted to Instagram, a group of models discussed the issues women of color face in fashion.

Instagram Embed:

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"I used to get bullied. Because of my skin color I wasn’t gonna be able to do high fashion," model Shanina Shaik said.  "A lot of black girls would have to miss Milan [fashion week] because they weren’t able to walk in the shows because they don’t want girls of that color."

"I know it's super hard to relate to," Ping Hue said to Windsor.

Windsor tried to relate to the struggles models of color have faced by describing how difficult it has been for her to have a busy work schedule.

"I literally went through f------ hell and literally lived in different countries like every other month and didn't speak that language and didn't speak Paris and didn't speak Italian. And I did that for like two years," Windsor said of her work schedule.

"I don't think you can relate to the turmoils of being different," Hue replied.

 "Do you know how hard it is being blonde?" Windsor asked. "I have to get a highlight every month!" 

After watching the episode, people took to Twitter, where they said they called out Windsor for being insensitive.

Tweet Embed:

//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1039592782590038016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

There's a show on E called model squad and these poc models were talking about the obstacles they had to go through because of the color of their skin and this white model, devon windsor, literally said she too faces struggle bc she's blonde and needs highlights every month

Following the backlash, Windsor took to Twitter on Sunday with an iPhone Notes App apology statement. 

"I want to apologize for what I said. It goes without saying, that the comments in the show are incredibly insensitive," she said. "The majority of the conversation was edited and if a peer of mine wanted to discuss such a serious subject, I would never follow it with a joke."

She acknowledged that diversity and inclusion are real issues in the fashion and modeling worlds.

"I know the struggle of diversity and inclusion in my business as well as in so many others is not one to take lightly. I made a comment in jest to infuse levity and I feel terrible that I have hurt others," she said. "I’m even more disappointed that my comments could lead anyone to believe that I have a prejudicial bias."

She concluded her apology by paying homage to those who are trailblazing in the fashion industry, like designer Claudia Li who recently featured all Asian models in her NYFW show and body positivity activist and model Ashley Graham, among countless others — although she didn't name names. 

"I respect, honor, and admire all of those breaking barriers and working to forge a new and inclusive community both in and outside of the modeling industry," she said. "I hope that I can continue to learn from others, I am always trying to be a better version of myself!"

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