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Natalie Venegas | April 01, 2022

Pantene Celebrates the Quinceañera One Trans Woman Never Had in an Emotional Short Film

The brand highlights cultural and family acceptance in its latest campaign

The brand highlights cultural and family acceptance in its latest campaign


For the Latin American community, quinceañeras are considered a passage to womanhood. However, transgender people are often excluded from participating in these cultural traditions because they either don’t know or haven’t been able to share their true gender due to issues of cultural acceptance and systemic barriers.


So, in celebration of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Pantene gave a transgender woman the quinceañera she never had.


The brand released a documentary-style short film chronicling the quinceañera of Isa, a trans woman in her forties who was denied one as a teenager. Created in collaboration with agency Grey New York, the five-minute film highlights how this kind of exclusion from cultural and societal acceptance ultimately impacts trans people. For instance, in addition to the possibility of being disowned by their families, Latinx and Black transgender people statistically face a higher risk of violence on a global scale. Pantene hopes its recent work will shine a light on the impact of a different phenomenon—that is, radical acceptance.


“It doesn’t matter when or at what age someone knows who they are, whether at 15 or 44. Whenever they feel comfortable being themselves and sharing that truth is a moment to celebrate,” Martina Brubacher, director of communications at Pantene for Latin America, said in a statement. “As a brand, we know the power of hair and how it can be a statement for expressing one’s true self, so it’s important for us to feature stories like Isa’s, a transgender woman who celebrates her journey.”


Visibility, culture and change


The powerful spot blends Latinx culture and transgender pride as Isa reclaims her identity in front of her family and friends while highlighting the importance of cultural and family acceptance. To help bring awareness to the campaign film, the brand also worked with GLAAD, which helps uplift the acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people by sharing stories and tackling issues to shape a narrative that provokes cultural change.


Though more brands such as e.l.f. Beauty, Mastercard and Nike are beginning to speak to gender identity and the systemic barriers that the larger transgender communities face, there is a crucial need for more acute visibility of transgender communities of color.


However, brands like Pantene and Doritos Mexico are helping to bridge that gap and amplify Latinx LGBTQ+ communities with campaigns that shift the cultural narrative.


“We chose to launch this film on International Day of Trans Visibility—to inspire every young transgender person. Anything is possible; happiness and acceptance is something everyone deserves,” Javier Bonilla, executive creative director at Grey, said in a statement.


You can watch Isa’s quinceañera short film on the brand’s Youtube channel. The integrated, digitally led campaign will also include online video, social media, influencers and public relations.


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