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By BradleyBBD May 05, 2013 988 Words
The world has advanced and came a very long way in the terms of racism. The modeling world still has a long way to go. When you look at the models walking down the catwalk at fashion shows around the world most of the models are pale white models. Racism in modeling isn’t as bad as it was in the 1920’s but it is still a problem trend. Some are celebrating the past’s seasons statistics; however the improvements are small. White models still largely dominate the runways. Designers and fashion houses have full control over the models they put on the runway. Some designers have a certain look in mind. Naomi Campbell made a statement at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin “ I hope that all the designers will consider using models of color because as we seen these last two years, models of color have not been used on the runways in a very minuet way. So let’s hope that everyone can not let fashion discriminate the models and the color of the models that they use” (Racism in the modeling industry). This shows that there has been a lost in ethnic models for a long time. The increase of racism in the modeling industry due to darker color skin is harder to work with in the terms of make up, designers look for a certain look, black models don’t sell.

Minorities now make up more than 50% of US births, but the truth is, racism is everywhere, and is especially common in the fashion industry. The Fashion industry has been facing criticizing for encouraging a culture of blatant racism. Ms Doocey is a former managing director of an international fashion company. She speaks about the models she has been sent to place in fashion shows and magazines. “I can’t remember being sent a model that wasn’t white. I don’t know if its racism or just the fashion industry languishing in the doldrums, but it needs to change. Agencies seem more interested in leggy white blonde girls” (Emily Dugan). This is an example of other who sees that there is a problem in the industry. India is currently experiencing a fashion culture boom, and many of their top models are coming out and talking about prejudice and discrimination in the India industry. Just by looking at the runways, and magazine ads it is easily seen that darker skinned models are seriously under represented. This is somewhat of a surprising fact considering that some of the most notable supermodels of all time are women of color, but however models like Tyra Banks and Iman no longer grace the runways anymore. Fall-Winter 2012 was one of the most diverse New York fashion weeks. A Fashion blogger Jezebel is known for his reviews after most shows. He has done the math on the ethnic category of models. “After whites was Asians. Asian models were used for 402 looks, or 8.8% of the time. Black models were close behind, at 367 look, or 8%. Nonwhite Latina models were used 110 times, or 2.4% of the time. Models of other races were used 41 times, or .9% of the time” (College Fashion). Runways are still largely dominated by white models. In the past fashion week Calvin Klein only had one black model two Asian models and two black models while the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Line didn’t have any models of color. Diverse models have remained a rare sight on the cat walk. High end fashion designers continue to only use a few models of color in their shows, if they use any at all. Fashion designers have full control of who walks in their shows. “Sadly, many have said that a model’s race and skin color are usually a major factor in deciding if she books the show or not (College Fashion). The Guardian quotes Annie Walshaw, a model booker, on the subject. “When the client sends you a brief you know straight away they’re not talking about a black girl. They say they want ‘a girl with long hair who looks like a fairy’ or something. When they want a black girl, they will say ‘looking for a mixed-race girl, tribal-print location, dessert scene” (College Fashion). This reason for not using models of color is stereotyping models that don’t have a look a designer is wanting. White models are seen more as blank canvases. In an article by Hannah Pool Carole White gives many reasons why colored models get less work compared to white models. Carole White, premier’s founder, describes why some designer do not select ethnically diverse models. “There’s not so much work for them, and sometimes photographers and makeup artists are scared. They don’t know how to light or make them up properly so it takes a lot longer…. It’s a slower process” (Hannah Pool). India is currently in the middle of a fashion boom. Local fashion shows have been swarmed by media become major media events. Dipannita Sharma is a leading model and actress believes that India fashion industry is in denial and would take many years for prejudice to fade “it’s not just the fashion industry, India per se is obsessed with white skin. We will take another hundred years to completely get over it. The industry doesn’t openly agree that preferring foreign models over Indiana models just for the skin tone is racism. It has some kind of fairness obsession” (Dean Nelson). Pranab Awasti of Delhi’s Glitz modeling agency, said that Indians themselves preferred white skin to their own and craved “fair” complexions. “ Indians in general have that inferiority complex, we have had a hangover about fair skin, since the British left India. The idea of fairness is an Indian concept to see white as beautiful and black as ugly… we have this concept in our minds that only fair-skinned people can be models” ( Dean Nelson).

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