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L’Oreal Paris’ Newest Ambassador Is Helping to Promote Diversity in the Industry

She’s more than worth it! Say hello to L’Oréal Paris’ newest ambassador: Maria Borges, the Victoria’s Secret Angel who’s committed to opening up the conversation on the need for diversity in the fashion and beauty industry — and beyond.

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“This means the world to me,” Borges, who also models for Givenchy, Chanel and Target, said in a press release from the brand dropped on Monday, February 27. “I believe in the beauty of diversity and the empowering message that a girl who started from the bottom can become an international beauty symbol. And be living proof that our dreams are valid and the future ahead of us is bright. Thank you L’Oréal Paris, we’re all worth it.”

She added in a video via her Instagram page, “Being part of the L’Oréal family is a big responsibility, so I’ll do my best to make you guys proud.”

Borges, who hails from Angola, was the first Angel to rock her natural afro on the catwalk at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2015. The trend followed suit last year, when more models chose to eschew the usual beach-waved extensions in favor of their natural texture.

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Crowning Borges as its latest ambassador is just L’Oréal’s most recent move in diversifying the models who represent the brand. For a campaign promoting the company’s True Match foundation — a truly wide-ranging collection of 33 shades — the drugstore makeup label introduced its first transgender model, Hari Nef, and welcomed a man, Darnell Bernard, into the mix. Blake Lively was the lead celebrity on the campaign, for which she celebrated her Cherokee roots.

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