Not too long ago model Nykhor Paul took to social media to complain about racism due to a make up incident where they did not have the right make up for her.
Only a few weeks ago, Mac cosmetics posted an image of Aamito Stacy’s lips (Africa’s Next Top Model) which prompted a reaction from racists of which she has now responded to.
We didn’t cover that because there is only so much attention internet trolls should be given, especially when common sense would be to just delete their comments and block them. Nevertheless Mac wins from the promotion created from the controversy as well as the justification of supporting black beauty in the publics’ eyes so it’s all good for Mac.
And now recently Ajak Deng has quite, although it is not proven to be due to racism one can never tell. So here is a controversial and probably not so popular reaction which seems to be the same we’ve expressed for quite a while. What are these black models doing to support the black or non racist end to the fashion world. With the exception of Naomi Campbell, they are doing absolutely nothing. And sorry if I am wrong, maybe nothing the world hears about.
Walking around with a #BlackModelsMatter bag is cute, and can be seen as positive, but that means nothing. Black models gain spotlight amongst their white peers and do nothing to support other black or non racist designers, media, stylists, or even other models themselves. They simply get the spotlight and brag about their newly loved fashion life until when they are comfortable in that and realize its nothing compared to their white peers, then complain about racism and expect the world to cry with them.
There are two models from Africa whom when they started I was in regular contact with them and helped promote them with this same FashionGHANA.com website as we do with all African models that do have potential. Upon their success getting signed to major labels and going international, one even took us off her social media friendlist with no explanation as to why. Stopped replying to messages, and then only continued to brag about their features and write ups in the same Vogue magazine which they will soon later call racist.
This is not a new experience, I’ve seen it happen many times with black models in UK also. It seems that living and being around their white counterparts is somewhat part of their success story and it is exhibited through their social media facebook and instagram from the moment they break through. It’s somewhat a message to their former black peers of their humble beginnings as to say, I’m here and not there.
When they are in this exciting life changing position, they chose not to mention or do anything about the injustice of the industry, hoping that by being silent they may be favoured and be the model to be treated fairly and succeed amidst racism.
Low and behold after years of failing to be that model, especially at the point when they see new models enter the market, and when their careers are almost exhausted, then comes the ‘Industry is racist’ at which point makes you sound washed up and cliche.
We understand it’s a sensitive role with not many blacks in decisive positions, so no one is asking you to walk into the fashion industry with a whole bag of complaints, in fact complaints is not what we need. But when you are making the big campaign money, what are you contributing it to? When you have that large social media following which other black entities in the fashion industry, or if not black, which non racist entities in the fashion industry are you giving time and space to promote? Which local fashion shows and activities do you use your presence to support?
Instead you brag about every activity you engage with of the same entities that have been the poster face for racism for decades, because you are glad that it is you out of many other black models to be there and not the other black models. Until the day you are not the black model who is there then racism becomes a problem.
As per today, we know that there is racism in fashion, in case you didn’t know it has been years ago or before you entered the industry, it is there and always will be. So don’t tell us there is racism because you just experienced it. I think the next top black model to complains about racism wanting support from the community should pull out a rap sheet of various things they used their money, their voice or their social media platform to do or support in efforts for change.
Most African models who break through in the industry are rarely seen participating or supporting any fashion here in Africa, unless they are paid in full.
What you are telling us is you really do not care about racism, you are just trying to make sure it doesn’t affect you personally. Not one top black model has spoken out against the many black face paint shows we see, nor the cultural misappropriation, because you do not want to disturb you potential with the designers. We do not even see the same black models speak out for each other when one model gets affected by racism.
Many parts of America and Europe is rife with racism in various sectors….
how is it the world should support you with the black models matter movement if we do not see you top black models at the black lives matter movement?
…because if you cared about racism as a whole, you wouldn’t have remixed the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to #BlackModelsMatter.