Maria Borges Stuns With Natural Hair On Victoria’s Secret Runway

Angolan model Maria Borges rocked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show stage when she appeared wearing her lovely lingerie, but what made her stand out was her short natural curls.

Although it was her third time walking the Victoria’s Secret catwalk, it was her first time to abandon her hair extensions and embrace her natural hair. The supermodel was truly eye-catching in her new hairstyle.

Borges had previously chopped her hair for the Givenchy fashion show but she had doubts about whether the organizers of the famous lingerie company’s fashion show would allow her to walk without hair extensions since all the models, including Borges, have always sported long, wavy hair. Borges said she was nervous about her look.

“I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria’s Secret show with my natural hair. I was nervous, but I had to do it. When they said ‘yes’ I didn’t expect it, but I was so happy!”

The 23-year-old model shared her excitement on Twitter as she announced that she will be hitting the runway with her Afro. On November 8, Borges shared an Instagram photo with the caption, “Tomorrow, this Angolan-born dreamer will be walking her 3rd #VSFS in a row, whilst rocking her Afro natural hair. All I can say is THANK YOU, I don’t take it for granted!”

It was Givenchy artistic director Ricardo Tisci who convinced the Angolan model to walk the runway with her natural afro hair. Borges told that Tisci asked her to change her hairstyle last season but she had an H&M campaign at the time and felt like she was not ready for the change. She admitted that she only felt comfortable to ditch her extension this season and was so happy that she did it.

She was not the first VS model to don natural hair on the Victoria’s Secret stage. Ajuma Nasenyana sported a fully shaved head in 2006. In 2001, Alek Wek graced the runway wearing her hair in a set of cornrows. Karlie Kloss also broke hair rules when she cut her waist-length hair and rocked a bob cut hair on the catwalk.

Maria Borges dedicated her third Victoria’s Secret walk to her homeland. “AFRICA, this one is for you! I LOVE YOU,” she wrote on the caption of her Instagram photo with the hashtags #MBmakinghistory and #afrohair.

Her decision to walk with her natural hair definitely breaks popular beauty standards that are often set by culture and the media. It also sends a powerful message to young girls around the world to celebrate their natural selves and not conform to limiting beauty stereotypes.

“Be strong. If you say you’re beautiful without hair and makeup, then they will believe you. It’s about being confident and always being yourself,” Maria Borges said as she encouraged women to embrace who they are and to show off their natural beauty.

She was hailed Forbes Africa Magazine‘s top model in 2013 and has graced the runways of such high-end brands as Wes Gordon, Zac Posen, Emporio Armani, and Versace to name a few. Borges has also appeared on adverts for Oscar de la Renta, H&M, and Tommy Hilfiger, and has graced the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, CR Fashion Book, LOVE, the Financial Times, and Vanity Fair.

The show, which airs on December 8 on CBS, is already creating curiosity among fans. Aside from Maria Borges, people are also talking about supermodel Lily Aldridge’s $2 million “Fireworks Fantasy Bra” and newcomers Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid’s debut as Victoria’s Secret models this year.

[Image by Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images]