Not So Subtle Racism

by Tee on September 9, 2015 - 1:18pm

Published on August 7th 2015 on The Huffington Post Canada is the article Model Nykhor Paul Shuts down the Fashion Industry's Racism by Arti Patel. This article is one that brings attention to racism within the fashion industry. Nykhor Paul is a 25 year old Sudanese model who, on public media, Instagram, to be more specific, addressed a letter makeup artists asking them she has to bring her own makeup when white models aren’t required to. Within the article, the author includes the entire caption that Nykhor Paul posted on Instagram. In the caption, Nykhor Paul says that she’s tired of apologizing for her blackness, and that a good makeup artist would have the makeup needed for her blue black skin tone. She then goes on to comment on how few women of colour are booked in the first place. Within the article the author includes the Fashion Spot’s 2015 Diversity Report, where it’s showed that in the 9,358 models booked for several big shows, such as Milan, New York, and Paris, only 20% of those were women of colour. At the end of the article, author Arti Patel encourages and supports model Nykhor Paul’s Instagram letter to makeup artists, by ending with “You go girl!” 


The article Model Nykhor Paul Shuts down the Fashion Industry's Racism by Arti Patel is one that convinces us that race is a big factor in today’s society, one that we can’t ignore. Although Jared Diamond says in his article Race without Colour that race is an arbitrary system, model Nykhor Paul calls attention on how skin colours are in fact different. Just because we can be distinguished by different skin colours, doesn’t mean it needs to define us, though. I agree with this fact, seeing as how there are so many other things we could be distinguished by, so why choose race? True, Nykhor Paul does need to use different makeup than girls who are lighter or darker than her, but this doesn’t mean her only noticeable factor is her skin colour. Somebody who hasn’t been informed of the unimportance or irrelevance of race would disagree with this fact. All in all, I think that the article by Arti Patel is one that touches on the current problems in today’s society regarding race.


Patel, A. (2015, July 8). Sudanese Model Is Tired of Apologizing for Her 'Blackness' Retrieved September 6, 2015, from



After reading your publication about this black model in the media, I felt compelled to comment on it for the simplest of reason that my article treated with the same aspect of media, models of different colours. Our articles showed who how those less typical models dealt with their situation on Instagram. They confirm to the public that racism is still a huge factor in the media mostly in the fashion industry.
For my part, I absolutely agree with your point of view; there is more to a person than its skin colour. Viltigo or Black skin model do not consider themselves non-traditional model due to their skin type, this is a just another racial discrimination made by the society and its media. Therefore, they should not have special requirements such as bringing their own make up or even apologize for her skin type. If other more typical white models don’t have to reach those requirements why should they? According to the multiple class discussion on racism, I think that the make-up artist did exercise the ideology that a race was superior than another based on the skin colour. Of course, it might not have been intentional but he did discriminate one group more than the other on the simplest fact of make-up.
After reading both of those post, I am certain that race is an important problem in the fashion industry. However, I hope that one day the percentage of different non-typical models will continue to increase in the fashion industry so that one day they won’t be classified as non-traditional models but as models representing many parts of the world.

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