Dark Complected Models Forced to Apologize For Their "Blackness"!?
by madeleine.pepiot on September 10, 2015 - 5:04pm
Julee Wilson wrote the article titled “Black Model Nykhor Paul Is ‘Tired Of Apologizing For [Her] Blackness’”, which was published on July 7th, 2015 on the Huffington Post. This article discusses the recent open letter that was posted on Instagram, by Nykhor Paul, a 25-year-old Sudanese professional model. Wilson explains that Nykhor Paul was outraged towards the makeup artists in the fashion industry for making her feel bad about her skin color, as well as for being unprepared and acting in an unprofessional manner. Wilson goes on to mention that Paul questioned why she has been told multiple times before that she must bring her own makeup to her fashion shows, while her fellow light-skinned models do not have to do so. Nykhor Paul is not only a model, but a well know human right activist who is tired of struggling in the fashion industry as a result of her skin color. Wilson proceeds to inform the reader about another fashion model named Jourdan Dunn who also has been a victim of racism in the fashion industry. Dunn once had a makeup artist on set refuse to do her makeup because of her skin tone. Wilson concludes by saying racism is clearly still very present in the fashion industry and that she is very glad that Paul brought some light upon this pressing issue and that she hopes we will soon, no longer have to hear about disheartening stories like these.
As this article brings to our attention, there is still discrimination and predigest against people of color in the fashion industry; much like every other industry in our society. As more and more research is being done and presented to the public about the concept ‘race’, we now know that ‘races’ are an arbitrary thing that we, humans, have created for ourselves. Yes, there are obvious physical differences between people from different regions of the world; however, as it is stated in the article “Human Races: Biological Reality or Cultural Delusion” by Darren Curnoe, it is genetically proven that there are such minuscule differences in the genes from one person to another, no matter which region of the world they come from. Curnoe also states that countless genocides have occurred throughout our history to show the “superiority” of one race over another. This sense of a “superior” race seems to be an issue in the fashion industry. A strength of this article is that Wilson presents multiple cases where dark completed models have clearly been put at a disadvantage because of their complexion, reinforcing how common this issue is in the fashion industry. However, if Wilson had presented specific statistics about how often models of different ethnicities are placed at a disadvantage it would have created a much stronger argument over all. I agree with Nykhor Paul. Her job is to model, not to go the extra mile of getting herself ready because a “professional” makeup artist does not know how to work with her skin tone. No skin tone should be seen as more beautiful or common. Diversity is one of the most beautiful things that we possess on the planet. I feel that if you are a makeup artist, you should be prepared to work with any complexion a client could possibly have.
Darren, C. (2014). Human Races: Biological Reality or Cultural Delusion?. Australasian Sciemce, 35(8), 36-38.
Wilson, J. (2015, July 7). Black Model Nykhor Paul Is ‘Tired Of Apologizing For [Her] Blackness’. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/07/nykhor-paulwhite-people-fashion... tired-apologizing-blackness_n_7744134.html