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“…No sorry, we don’t have any left in that colour.”
And no, I am not talking about clothing Items. We are talking about Models of Colour. And I can really relate to the constant feeling of being “out of stock” in the industry at many occasions when black is just not being used enough. The reason I use the term out of stock is because we are there, and there are hundreds of models of colour doing well in the industry and getting the jobs. But it seems as you climb higher up into the industry, on the set of the larger campaigns, or the most prestigious shows, there is some sort of ‘filtering system’ that reduces that number.
Or they just think that reusing the same Model of Colour for these various campaigns is okay because one is always enough, and maybe we all look the same?
One person told me that the reason being was that black people and mixed raced people are more diverse in how they look than white people. White people have more similar features and these designers or bookers want go for a uniform look when it comes to portraying their clothing, and that its a form of art. Which is understandable. I do not believe there is racism necessarily, but there is a choice that many have not taken when it comes to choosing Models of Colour.
I understand that this is a soft topic for many, but I am about being honest and truthful, and that is why Naomi is one of my greatest inspirations. Not just because of the typical ‘black supermodel’ stigma, but because she never softens her opinions just to stick to the status quo, and she is never afraid to speak bluntly and approach situations that many people wouldn’t, just to stay in the ‘good pages’ of the industry.
Her, Iman, and many other former supermodels of colour who are still in and around the industry and trying to tackle this and there have been promising signs. But I agree with her that it is sad that in 2015 this is still an issue:
But on the other hand, things are looking up a lot. Inspiring new faces such as Jourdan Dunn, Lupita Nyong’o, Alek Wek, Ajak Deng and many more who are showing up on major campaigns are always inspiring and solid proof of a great change. And definitely an inspirational image to look up to for me as a new and aspiring model. Although I can name a few, it is still only a handful, and the fact that colour-dominated events (such as when all the models that walked for the Ashish SS/15 show were black) are so rare, shows that using Models of Colour is still not a normal thing. But hey – the hardest part is C H A N G E – and that is now.
And why wouldn’t we want it in black?
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what do you think?
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