The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will air on Dec. 5, but during its taping on Wednesday, Nov. 30, the natural beauty of Black hair was on full display. Following Maria Borges’ historic decision last year to ditch a beach wave wig to show off her afro, two other models decided to embrace their cropped hairstyles, too.
Borges, Herieth Paul and Jourdana Phillips all wore their hair in low-cut afros at the event. Paul posted a behind-the-scenes photo of the trio on Instagram.
Show organizers revealed plans for all 51 participants to wear their natural hair on the runway.
“We want to embrace everyone’s natural beauty,” lead hairstylist Sarah Potempa told Refinery29. “We’re giving a carefree approach to the length and type of curl. Some women with shorter hair, maybe a lob, will walk with that hair. We’re not gonna add extensions to make it super long. And if someone has short hair on the side or a tight haircut, we’re not gonna put a wig on or put extensions on their head. We’re gonna embrace it.”
While speaking to Teen Vogue in November, Borges reflected on her 2015 statement-making TWA (teeny weeny afro).”People loved it and were very proud and happy for me,” she said. “It was the sexiest moment of my life. I was very excited to share [my hair] with the world.
“I feel beautiful just the way I am,” she said. “This is not about my hairstyle, it’s about my conscience and just being myself.”
This year’s fashion show featured several Black models, including Leomie Anderson, Zuri Tibby, Cindy Bruna, Lameka Fox and Joan Smalls. Jasmine Tookes wore the annual Fantasy Bra worth $3 million. She is the third Black model chosen to wear the coveted diamond-encrusted piece, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s very heavy; it weighs more than 450 karats,” the 25-year-old revealed. “It weighs down on my shoulders a little bit, but it’s so worth it.”
Since the show’s inception in 1995, 25 Black models have graced the runway through last year, including Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Chanel Iman, according to Hello Beautiful. Previously, 2015 saw the largest number of Black models with eight.
The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airs Dec. 5 at 10/9c on CBS.