The One Issue The Fashion Industry Keeps Sipping Their Tea To
Another season comes to a close and the fashion industry recognizes their new faces and fashion week rookies. Being a bi-racial model, I cannot help but to recognize another season where the ratio for models of color is just honestly depressing. It seems as if the industry as a whole is ignoring the beauty of the world. The world is full of color, yet we only see a good 2-3 models of color during the average fashion week show. Intentional or not, this is brainwashing. It’s sending a false message to the millions of women that watch these shows and think "this is what a model is". In my eyes, everyone and anyone can be a model. Any woman can slay. We've been taught our entire lives only this, this, and this makes a model. Only these numbers and measurements make a model. These are all lies. Every month, millions of women are being brainwashed to think that the perception of beauty that is defined by the media is the most appealing one. We see women now more than ever getting waist-trainers, plastic surgery, and butt injections to please a society that ultimately does not accept who they truly are. I believe that as the collective consciousness of women rises and we begin to start accepting who we are we will see less and less of such a conditioned, patriarchal society. So many ethnic models dreams are instantly shot when they are told “We already have a black model, we don’t need anymore.” Seriously – It’s 2015 and I’m over it. These designers can praise Rihanna and blast Beyonce as they create their new collections, but when it comes to the actual presentation, no women of color are even represented.
Recently, Harper’s Bazaar featured Rihanna on the cover of their March issue and anyone in fashion knows that March and September are the biggest selling months in the magazine industry. I didn’t hesitate to purchase the magazine. As soon as I saw it on a newsstand while running errands in the streets of Manhattan, I bought one. After I actually opened the magazine, I just became more and more disappointed. Almost 530 pages of fashion featuring only 7 models of color, 4 of them being the regulars: Naomi Campbell, Joan Smalls, Binx Walton, and Jordan Dunn. As a biracial model, how am I supposed to aspire to become one of these women? I want to look at a magazine and feel inspired, feel the love of fashion that I used to feel that is slowly diminishing. There’s a deliberate racism that is going on that the fashion industry keeps dipping their toes in and out of.
It seems as though if you’re not Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lupita, or a fashion industry regular, the fashion industry does not care to represent you. Magazines are starting to seem so repetitive to me. When will the same people who have worked at these houses for years retire their seats and allow for new perspectives and ideals of beauty to grace the pages that millions of women read? Imagine if Anna Wintour & Grace Coddington were Asian and Afro-Latina with big curls and a booty. Imagine a world where the fashion houses were multi-ethnic and had CEO's and creative directors of color. We would be looking at a different world.