06 October 2012

Black Fashion Models | Part 2

Models of colour still find their race to be a considerable barrier to their success, a barrier that is more than skin deep. 

In the 2010 short documentary, “The Colour of Beauty,” that examines discrimination and racism in the fashion industry, the New York agent of an aspiring Canadian- Jamaican model, Renee Thompson, observes that “the token black models who get work really have unique features for African Americans- the straight, skinny European noses and hair, the very elegant faces and straight, almost curveless figures. They really look like White girls that were painted Black. That’s beauty you know through the industry’s perspective, to agents perspective. When they see that, when they see a girl that can look different by skin pigment and still have great features like that it is sellable. When black models come in with big eyes, big nose, big whatever, big lips, things that are common traits in African Americans, it doesn’t work. But for those lucky few girls that like Renee, they have white girl features and it’s kind of messed up but that is just the way that the industry is.

Renee Thompson

It is reported that fashion and beauty agencies rarely hire black models, actively saying that they need a black model but she has to be a white girl dipped in chocolate." This could imply a specific rejection of all things black as African features are not seen as attractive.
The fashion industry seems to operate with an out-of-date business model. Some blame the fashion designers stating that they do not want more than one or two black models, due to their clientele.

I find this very sad but to be honest it's not really shocking anymore as it's unfortunately reality. These days black models are getting booked a little more but there still needs to be some major changes and improvements in order for the fashion and beauty industry to be a true reflection of our society.

No comments:

Post a Comment