My name is Paris Laban, I am a Leo but also have strong Sagittarius characteristics as well. But enough about who I am, what is more important is what I stand for and what I can do. One of my passions is modelling, but in this industry there are problems and changes to be made for this industry to be equal, among all the different models. Fashion is art and art is never racist, so why are the major designers?
I am fully aware there is a lack of diversity in the fashion and modelling industry, are you? There are many beautiful black models and they are not represented the way they should be.
I have read and heard so many stories from black models (majority runway models) that face some type of discrimination in the fashion industry. From not getting booked for jobs as designers have already hired a model with their “look”, they get told,
“We love your look, but we’ve already got a black model.”
The little things (that actually have a great impact) like having to bring their own make up and even doing their own make-up, because the make-up artists the designers hired don’t have the range of different shades of make-up to perform on black models. Another is hair, many stylists have no experience working with black models, therefore have no idea how to work with the texture of black models hair.
This is a huge struggle for black models as most miss out on opportunities for work, as simply because the stylists couldn’t handle their texture of hair. Although straight hair extensions became a solution for some and even shaving their heads, as a result of getting jobs and protecting their hair from stylists with no experience with their texture of hair.
Even the supermodel Naomi Campbell, recalled at the beginning of her career she encountered with the same issues as of today, and after all these years later, its disappointing to hear that models of colour are still having to go through this. As a model, it’s a responsibility to be prepared for anything, even when the stylists aren’t, but for a model of colour, you have to be more prepared than others.
Racial diversity is not only a great problem in the fashion industry, but also in commercials and advertisements. There are hardly any black designers, the runways are almost completely whitewashed and it’s puzzling that some people think that blackface is stylish!…
If they can do it, I can do it.
Models of colour should not be sorry for what they look like, where they come from and who they are, it is time for the fashion industry to treat and see everyone as equals.
There are some models using their voices to encourage the industry to be inclusive of racial diversity. This applies to everything from casting models of color to having resources they need for shows, like hair and makeup. But there needs to be more voices to speak up in order for things to change…
Below is a video on the topic that was highlighted in a satirical and enlightening way, but it will definitely make you think seriously about the diversity in the fashion industry….