14 January 2022

Munroe Bergdorf becomes the first trans woman to be on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK

Model and activist, Munroe Bergdorf, has made history by becoming the first transgender woman to grace the cover of Cosmopolitan UK in its 50-year history. 

Yesterday, the 34-year-old was named as the publication’s Changemaker of The Year, and appeared on the cover of their 50th anniversary issue. 

Bergdorf, who has modelled for brands including Gypsy Sport, took to her personal Instagram to announce the news. “I can’t believe I’m writing this…” she said. “[I am] BEYOND excited to share that I am @cosmopolitanUK‘s covergirl for their 50th Anniversary Issue!

“I’m also the first transgender woman to ever feature on the cover in those 50 years of publication.”

In the issue, Bergdorf — who began transitioning aged 24 — offered words of advice to those who are experiencing gender dysphoria. “The best advice I have is there’s no one way to be trans. Gravitate towards what you feel, rather than what you feel you should do. You’ll find so much peace that way,” she said. 

“When I began my transition, I felt pressure to assimilate into what society deems to be a woman. I wish someone had just told me, no matter how I dress, how I look, if I’ve got make-up on or if I don’t, I’m still a woman. In every single iteration of my being.”

Cosmopolitan UK’s editor-in-chief described Bergdorf as a “trailblazer” in a statement: “No one encapsulates what it means to be a Cosmopolitan cover star more than Munroe Bergdorf, and I’m thrilled we’re celebrating Cosmopolitan UK’s 50th anniversary with such an important trailblazer on our cover.

“Whether it be finding a fulfilling career that pays fairly, developing happy and healthy relationships, or fighting for equality and respect, the topics Cosmopolitan has long championed are just as important now as they were in 1972,” she continued.

“Whatever their sexuality, gender identity or background, Cosmopolitan will continue to empower our audience to demand more from the world around them, challenge the status quo and advocate for a diverse and inclusive world, free from prejudice.”

In 2020, Bergdorf was rehired by cosmetics giant, L’Oreal Paris, after being dropped nearly three years prior for speaking candidly about the inherent racism within white people. 

She was appointed to the brand’s U.K Diversity and Inclusion Advisory board in June of 2020.

“While what happened 3 years ago was extremely traumatic for me personally and professionally, sitting on a board to provide a voice and a champion for black, trans and queer voices in the beauty industry is important to me,” she explained at the time. “Over the past three years I realized my responsibility as an activist is to help us unite as people, regardless of our identity.”

The 50th Anniversary issue of Cosmopolitan UK will be available to purchase from January 21. 

  • Writer Nessa Humayun
  • Photography Micaela Mclucas

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