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When She is Told,
Her Skin is Too Dark,
I Do Not Hesitate to Offer,
That the Sun Loved her So Much
It Kissed her More
Than the rest of Us.
Model of colour moment #1: That kind of trend ( let’s call it that for now before I get another one of those emails telling me to take my post down ) where there’s always that one coloured model in the midst of a thousand non-coloured models just to add that **hint** of diversity? – well, Eni is about to rant about that.
Just a hint because apparently that is enough, and well – if you don’t know that trend then let me remind you:
Notice how they will always reuse the same coloured model as well. ( i.e. Naomi )
Model of colour moment #2: That moment when you’re getting prepped for the shoot/show and all the non-coloured models have gotten their hair and makeup done, and then they head over to you – and after consciously murmuring amongst themselves and trying to act like they’ve actually considered something, they come over to you and say:
“You look fine as you are!” – Ignorant MUA/Hair stylist who claims to be professional but cannot even be prepared to learn how to deal with a canvas that is non-caucasian.
Definition of professional: "having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful."
Definition of competent: "having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully."
i.e. You Are NOT A Professional
“Are you a professional?” – E.
Nope. Nada. Nunca.
If you can’t bring an afro comb, comb through my hair successfully, have a foundation colour that does not blend in with my vanilla sofa, and kill my contour without making me look like the “ashey-queen“, then no – you are not a professional. And how dare you?
How dare you label me as exotic? When exotic is something beautiful – something unseen, and something studied. But you don’t have the necessary skills to bring out that “exotic-ness”. And when real attempts are made in this field it is constantly overthrown by the idealistic beauty because it’s too “complicated” or “hard” to have a coloured model.
And those are adjectives that I have heard with my own two ears being used constantly around me.
No wonder Ajak Deng left the industry. ( R E A D | I T ) It’s ridiculous. The fact that in 2016 I went to a casting ( my hair is not naturally straight, but I get it permed so it has a straightness to it without me having to blow-dry or hot-iron it ) the hairstylist saw my permed hair and said “Ah, thank goodness you don’t have those stubborn kinks. I love easy hair.”
And of course, I am not going to say it is all bad – there are amazing moments and amazing people who really and genuinely want to learn from one and another and appreciate all kinds of beauty – But they are still in the minority.
“So when will I stop with these rants?” – E.
Not when I see equality. I don’t think there will ever be equality. Because we are equally different, and differently beautiful. And that’s not a problem, we weren’t made the same for many reasons. But that doesn’t mean the same opportunities shouldn’t be given to us. Just as we fight for women’s rights – we should fight for racial rights, not only starting with the modelling industry, but also all the way up to business and politics.
“When I no longer have to think of my skin colour as added baggage.” – E.
“When it is no longer that easy to Spot The Difference.” -E.
“When we no longer S t a n d A l o n e .” – E
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