“…like a white girl dipped in chocolate.”

17/07/2010 § Leave a comment

“The Colour of Beauty” is a mini documentary that follows a black runway model and her (unsuccessful) attempts to get hired for New York’s Fashion Week.  See the documentary here.

It is an old problem.  Runway shows have historically had very few minority models and there are endless justifications for the lack of diversity: that ethnic consumers do not have the same buying power as white consumers, that black models don’t move product, that black models are not thin enough through the hips, etc.  Furthermore, the black models that have been the most successful have tended to have white features…like “a white girl dipped in chocolate.”

This film does a good job of re-introducing this issue to new audiences, but falls short when it comes to offering a solution to change the status quo.  Do we start with the fashion show producers?  The designers?  The fashion editors?  Or is this a larger problem?  Is this an outdated standard of beauty that society has forgotten to modernize?  How do we do that? In a country as beautifully diverse as America, a paradigm shift like this should have occurred years ago.

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