Victoria’s Secret model Devon Windsor is facing backlash after comparing being blonde to the challenges models of color face in the fashion industry.
In a clip from E!’s new show “Model Squad,” model Shanina Shaik who is of Lithuanian, Pakistani and Arab descent, is seen explaining how she has been bullied in the industry for her skin color.
“A lot of black girls would have to miss Milan because they weren’t able to walk in the shows because they don’t want girls of tha color,” she says.
Windsor responds by saying, “I literally f— went through hell and literally lived in different countries like every other month, and didn’t speak that language. I didn’t speak Paris, didn’t speak Italian. And I did that for like, two years.”
The model then responded to Shaik’s diversity struggles by saying, “You know how hard it is to be blonde? I have to get a highlight every month! Do you know how expensive that is?”
The clip of Windsor’s comment was quickly shared all over social media and was met with harsh criticism by fans.
One user called out the model and said, “There’s so many young women looking up to you right now instead of being a role model,your just out here being a dumb blonde who complains about traveling the world, when so many girls would take your place without hesitation.”
Another user wrote, “Joking or not what an ignorant thing to say.”
One person even tagged Victoria’s Secret in the comment sections and urged the company to get rid of Windsor while others made fun of the model accidentally calling Paris a language.
“Oh poor girl…. dont worry, Paris is a really hard language to pick up,” one user wrote.
The backlash from the clip prompted the 24-year-old model to release an apology to fans.
The Victoria’s Secret angel explained that her comment was meant to be taken as a joke, but she has since realized that her “joke” was “incredibly insensitive.”
In a Twitter post, the model wrote, “I want to apologize for what I said. It goes without saying that the comments in the show are incredibly insensitive.”
Windsor continued, “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 have an immense amount of respect for my peers. I know the struggle of diversity and inclusion in my business as well as in so many others is not one to take lightly.”
Earlier in September, Windsor spoke to Fox News and opened up about her experience in the cut-throat modeling industry.
“The biggest challenge for me, and I think for most girls, is just the criticism, the amount of criticism that we take, honestly, every day,” she said. “We’re being critiqued every day, whether you hear them critiquing you or it’s behind your back, whether it’s the client, casting, friends, agents — you’re constantly being judged and you’re constantly being denied.
Windsor acknowledged that modeling offers plenty of perks, including getaways to some of the most beautiful and exclusive locations in the world, plenty of couture, as well as non-stop invites to celebrity hot spots and parties.
Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.