Forget Lingerie: This Model’s Hair Stole the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

All eyes were on newcomers Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, but one model’s new do sparked praise.

Model Maria Borges of Angola walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York City on Nov. 10. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Nov 11, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

Photos from last night’s 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show feature dozens of lingerie-clad women wearing brightly colored angel wings, sexy cop costumes, and even a strapped-on surfboard to promote the brand. For those not distracted by the over-the-top costumes, however, one model made waves not for bra tops and garter belts but for her hairstyle.

Along with being tall and thin, practically every model featured in the show had hair that stretched far past her shoulder blades, which made model Maria Borges’ short, natural hair a change for the nation’s top lingerie company that many cheered.

Borges, who describes herself as Angolan on Instagram, prepped her 122,000 followers that she’d be rocking her natural “Afro hair” at the Nov. 10 show.

This isn’t the 23-year-old’s first time walking the runway for the lingerie conglomerate. She strutted her stuff in 2013 and 2014 wearing long extensions. She wasn’t sure Victoria's Secret bigwigs would allow her to showcase her natural look.

“I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria’s Secret show with my natural hair. I was nervous, but I had to do it,” Borges told Essence. “When they said ‘yes’ I didn’t expect it, but I was so happy!”

Borges titled her photo posts “#MBmakinghistory,” and it appears that the model is indeed doing that. Digging through hundred of photos from the past 16 years of shows, it appears not one model has walked the catwalk with natural hair like hers.

RELATED: A 7-Year-Old's Book Turns Kinky Coils Into a Lovable Superpower

Although Victoria’s Secret holds the lion’s share of America’s lingerie market, it has come under fire in recent years for a lack of body and racial diversity among its crew of “Angels.” Of 45 models, Borges was one of just eight black models to participate in the show. The seven others all had long, flowing locks.

Borges follows in the footsteps of actors Tracee Ellis Ross, Viola Davis, and Taraji P. Henson, who have worn their hair natural or gone without a wig in recent TV appearances, helping women and girls fight back against mainstream beauty ideals that see natural hair as undesirable.

The model’s fans appreciated Borges’ move, applauding her hairstyle on Instagram. “I can’t be more proud of your haircut,” wrote one fan. “Thank you for taking a stand an wearing your natural hair!!!” added another.