There’s quite a story behind 21-year-old transgender model Valentijn de Hingh. Discovered as an eight-year-old boy by Dutch filmmaker Hetty Niesch, de Hingh was filmed from then until seventeen in what was originally part of a small piece on transgender youth but which became a longer (nine year!) documentary when the director decided to focus solely on her growth and development. The film debuted on Dutch television in 2007. De Hingh, who had gender reassignment surgery just before the release, was “very happy” with its success and how well it portrayed the trials and decisions that transgender youth face.
One day, her angular features and willowy frame earned the attention of a modeling scout while she was shopping in Amsterdam and she soon made her runway debut in the Spring 2008 shows, walking for Maison Martin Margiela and Comme des Garçons. However, when she shot up from her then-height of 5’9″ to 6’1″, agencies deemed her too tall for runway and the bookings stopped. She instead enrolled in the University of Amsterdam to study literature science, hoping to pursue a career in fashion journalism."