Friday, April 26, 2013

"I swear some people need to learn how to do black hair/skin"

Let's face it: Black is Beautiful. Some of the most gorgeous people in the world are non-whites, and some of the best models in history have been ethnic. I currently have a girl crush on Marihenny Rivera Pasible from the Dominican Republic. One of the Top Ten Black Models at New York Fashion Week, she rocked the runway. Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn are also two of my favorites. Naturally, I had a serious problem when both women had problems with casting. Iman and Dunn share a similar story of being turned away from castings because the client "didn't want any more black girls." Don't worry, it get's worse. Dunn, the 22-year-old British model, was the first black model in over a decade to walk into Prada's fashion show. She was treated with the utmost disrespect and discrimination: "a white makeup artist said she did not want to work on Dunn's face because she was black."Why would someone not want to work on Dunn? Have they looked at her? She's gorgeous. This is not the first time Dunn has been a victim of racism in the fashion industry, which clearly disregards any desire for diversity. In October of 2011, a similar situation occurred, to which she responded with a tweet stating, "I swear some people need to learn how to do black hair/skin". This is not a case of a makeup artist not knowing how to properly apply makeup to dark skin--it was pure racism, something that seems to be just as prevalent in the fashion world as anywhere else, if not more.

I think we can all agree that this kind of treatment toward people is unnecessary. Being a model must be difficult enough without being discriminated against. Despite her run-ins with racism, Dunn seems to be doing well in the fashion industry. As materialistic as the fashion and modeling industries are, do they need to be degraded anymore with stories of racism and discrimination?


  1. I think that this has a lot to do with equating value with a person's skin color. If the majority of models that people in the fashion world dealt with, it wouldn't be an issue because make up artists would have to do this in order to work. However, because many people believe that there aren't many models of color or that Black isn't beautiful they don't know how or refuse to do it. Diminishing someone to simply being a color and saying that this color is undesirable is one of the worst things that someone can do. It definitely shouldn't be tolerated.

  2. I think it's very interesting that in that particular fashion show, they were being discriminated against for not being white, whereas recently, Numero Magazine that was themed African Queen. The models, however, were white doing blackface. I think it's perfectly fine to have a fashion shoot with that theme, but only if you're actually using black or African models. Having white women do it seems to imply a superiority of white models to non-white models, just as the fashion shoot you mentioned did. But to have them doing blackface is just despicable because all I can think about is the blackface in the late 19th and 20th centuries in which blackface was for the enjoyment of whites at the expense of African Americans. These two things combined just screams racism and the promotion of white superiority in modeling and in general as the shoots will have been seen all over the world.