While most are celebrating the racial diversity in this year’s upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, veteran model Devon Windsor has landed herself in hot water after some incredibly insensitive flippant remarks she made while speaking to fellow model Shanina Shaik, whose mother is of Lithuanian descent and father is half Pakistani, half Arab.
As reported by Hollywood Unlocked, Shaik was describing the many challenges she had faced as a child because of the bullying she endured due to her skin color, and shared that as she had grown up and started working, she was among the group of models who were excluded from certain shows because designers didn’t want models of color.
“A lot of Black girls would have to miss Milan because we wouldn’t be able to walk in the shows because [designers] didn’t want girls that color,” Shaik explained.
Ping Hue was also on hand to speak about her own experiences and was one of the models bullied over her skin color in Milan.
Enter Windsor, explaining that she had had a tough life living abroad, moving from city to city every other month and not being able to speak “Paris” or Italian. When the other girls tried to explain that she probably couldn’t understand the struggle of being different, she clapped back with “Do you know how hard it is to be blonde?”
While the other girls stared at her in utter bewilderment at comparing being blonde to being a woman of color, she continued, pointing out that she has to highlight her hair every month to maintain it, and then asked the others if they knew how expensive it is.
Windsor later claimed it had been just a joke that was taken out of context, and took to social media to apologize for being so insensitive.
“I want to apologize for what I said. It goes without saying, that the comments in the show are incredibly insensitive. 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. 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.”
As heartfelt as her apology may have been, Twitter users were not happy that she had been joking about the struggles her peers had faced, especially when she tried to pass off the difficulties in maintaining perfectly highlighted hair as the same thing.
Whether she intended it as a joke or not, her peers were clearly not impressed either, as Hue spoke to the camera later with her reaction. “Highlight her hair? She said that,” Hue said, pausing in between to laugh in disbelief.