I should start off with stating ‘BlackModelsMatter’ is a cry out for diversity and a reaction to being kicked to the curb. Black as a colour is quite mysterious, disarming and appealing. In terms of clothing it is a whole different story. According to journalist, Hadley Freeman, the colour black is so “de riguer-so slimming- but as a skin colour it has, shall we say, struggled to be accepted by the fashion mainstream.”
Being of an African heritage, I have only grown up to see how my natural composition seems to be disregarded by the majority of society, especially that of the fashion industry. What continues to frustrate me, is the fact we are living in a new age of social standards but accepting a BLACK individual is almost too hard to comprehend. Now I am not sure if it has to do with the level of ignorance in some or is it vanity? Or just the obsession of what is classified as the social norm- Caucasian? It is not so much that Naomi Campbell is the cover of the latest issue of ‘AnOther magazine’, it is the lack of educated individuals that co-exist in the industry.
Every day, every second, these black models that are great at their jobs, if not better than most are still struggling to prove their worth at castings or just their social lives. Based on a statement super model Jourdan Dunn made, placing our lustrous chocolate skin, kinky afros and deep rooted cultural heritage on the cover of let’s say, Vogue, will be both a financial and social problem. This issue will not sell unless they bring out the gorgeous Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid because that’s what we want to see right?
Despite this ignorance, we still have supporters such as Fashion designer, Zac Posen, super model and activist, Bethann Hardison and television personality, J.Alexander widening the ongoing racial issue. Other individuals such as Ghanaian model, Destiny Owusu, better known as Ohwawa is also a media activist for this cause, using captions on her Instagram that embrace the beauty of black models. Another individual that sparked a bit of interest in the media is Ashley B Crew, who was spotted with the words ‘BLACKMODELSMATTER’ painted boldly and violently across her black canvas tote and this was her outlet to expresses her annoyance with lack of diversity.
If it is not being set aside from model castings, it is not having the right shade of foundation and of course, the cluelessness of not knowing how to style our hair.
Once again, but this will not be the last time, I urge everyone to accept that BLACK MODELS MATTER AND WE BELONG because if we were so unpleasant, why draw out certain aspects of our natural composition and incorporate it into your lives but in a way you find aesthetically and socially acceptable- Shout out to Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection; I see those dread locks and might I add, out of those 53 or so models, only nine black models were spotted on the runway. It is black models like Jourdan Dunn that account for the 10.2% of the runway bookings, while the white models like Kendall Jenner account for 79.4% of the runway bookings.