Brazillian trans model features in Benetton ad campaign

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A global advertising campaign by United Colors of Benetton has launched, and features a Brazillian trans woman model.

Aiming to “fight against hate and discrimination in all its forms,” the Unhate campaign features Lea T, who has also modelled for Givenchy.

She underwent gender reassignment surgery ten months before the campaign, and was discovered as a model by Givenchy two years ago, reports the Huffington Post. 

Trans Media Watch welcomed the decision to feature Lea T in the campaign, but said that it didn’t think it was meant to shock audiences.

“Although Benetton has run shock campaigns in the past, we don’t see this as part of that tradition. Lea is presented alongside other beautiful people and is simply being herself,” it said.

The Unhate Foundation has been “created to oppose and undermine hate culture, the Unhate Foundation will engage in the development of campaigns aimed at exorcising the ‘fear of the other’”.

In November 2011, upon launching the campaign, Benetton withdrew a manipulated image of the pope kissing another man after the Vatican protested.