Too Black For Fashion, Still
Am I the only who feels like I only see beautiful black women on the outside of salons, in music videos scantily clad and playing the Angry Black Woman in Tyler Perry plays??
I hate talking about race and color, but in the last 12 years I've had the opportunity to grow up with a special little girl (my niece), who can't seem to grasp that she's a beautiful black girl because the majority of the images she sees do not represent the different ways that blackness looks.
It's the responsibility of us in the industry to set that example for our younger generations.
The fashion industry has made so many strides in the last decade. This week alone we've witnessed bodies of all shapes and sizes strut down the runway. I've even seen girls with gaps in their teeth in national campaigns for beauty brands and clothing stores.
But does anyone feel like the amount of diversity we see in color - hair texture - facial features- is still slacking?
In one breath, I'm elated to see the the beautiful diverse bodies getting more recognition. But I'm not satisfied with the idea that there is still such a large gap in under representation for the beauty that lies within the black community.
Being a Black Plus Model is so interesting. It seems like our mixed, Caucasian and Latino counter parts are being praised for their thick legs, juicy lips, plump booties and larger sized breasts and beauty, while us black girls are still waiting for an opportunity for the world to look upon us with adoring eyes. Which - might I add are also physical traits that have marked the Black women from the beginning, things that we were once mocked for.
Don't get me wrong, there are some beautiful images of black models (plus size and standard) who are working and changing the world's perspective on being a black woman. But why is it taking so long??
The majority of my friends are Caucasian, or other - so this is a hard conversation for us to have with one another. And I think that's part of the problem, no one is talking about it but we should be.
I created the hashtag Embody My Beauty to draw attention to the fact that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, complexions, hair textures, lip shapes, nose shapes and characteristics. The fashion industry has been a pioneer in telling adolescents and people in general how to look, dress and be and I think it's time people understand that we were all created different but none of us are more or less beautiful..
What do you think about the amount of representation there is in the industry for Black women? I'd love to hear your thoughts.