Is it the end of the one-size-fits-all bombshell waves as we know them? Three years after Karlie Kloss made the groundbreaking (at the time) decision to chop off her locks the day before hitting the runway for Victoria’s Secret, Angolan supermodel Maria Borges made another big stride for beauty, walking in the brand’s fashion show Tuesday night sans extensions, sporting her natural hair.
The 23-year-old model strutted the colorful catwalk in bright turquoise bra and panties set at the highly anticipated lingerie extravaganza with her shorter, natural hair opting to go extension-free for the runway event.
“I’d like to thank Victoria’s Secret for giving me the opportunity to help women around the globe embrace their own beauty,” she told PeopleStyle. “Being the voice of a few women was one of the best feelings, ever!”
And the message she wants to give women is that the sexiest thing you can do is to be con in your own skin. “It was important [to have this moment] but it mostly felt natural. To me, it was the right thing to do,” she says. “Being yourself is always the right thing to do. By being yourself, I mean choosing the hairstyle that you want, not what people ask you to do in order to be beautiful or sexy in their eyes.”
Being true to herself also came with an added perk: No endless fussing in the styling chair! “I literally spent 10 seconds at the hair section backstage,” the supermodel said. “I had time to fully enjoy my third Victoria’s Secret experience in a row. I had so much fun with the girls.”
Borges debuted her short do a few months before at the Givenchy Fall 2015 Couture show during Fashion Week after designer Riccardo Tisci asked her to chop it all off.
“He asked me to change my hairstyle,” Borges told Style.com. “He had asked me last season as well, but I had booked an H&M campaign that same week and at the time I wasn’t feeling as comfortable with change. This season I finally felt ready, and I’m glad that I did.”
Since the chop, Borges debated on whether or not she wanted to walk in the VS show with her short hair, but eventually decided to embrace her natural texture.
“I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria’s Secret show with my natural hair,” Borges said, according to Essence. “I was nervous, but I had to do it. When they said ‘Yes’ I didn’t expect it, but I was so happy!”
Even in the days leading up to the taping of the show, Borges couldn’t contain her excitement for the opportunity to show off her natural style on national television.
“Tomorrow, this Angolan-born dreamer will be walking her 3rd #VSFS in a row, whilst rocking her Afro natural hair,” she captioned a recent Instagram photo revealing her VS show do. “All I can say is THANK YOU, I don’t take it for granted! ❣🌍❣ #MBmakinghistory @victoriassecret @ed_razek @johndavidpfeiffer @10magazine @imgmodels.”
Catch the supermodel strut the catwalk at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. on CBS.
RELATED VIDEO: How the Angels Get in Such Fit Shape!
Are you a fan of Maria’s natural hair? Do you think more models should follow suit? Share below.
–Sarah Kinonen, with reporting by Jackie Fields