The Color Of Beauty

Renee Thompson is trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She’s got the looks, the walk and the drive. But she’s a black model in a world where white women represent the standard of beauty. Agencies rarely hire black models. And when they do, they want them to look “like white girls dipped in chocolate.” The Colour of Beauty is a shocking short documentary that examines racism in the fashion industry. Is a black model less attractive to designers, casting directors and consumers? What is the colour of beauty?

11 Comments

  1. I think that black beauty first should be celebrated in our community, because many of our daughters feel that they aren’t beautiful. Black beauty should be celebrated more, right now our community focus on the “strength of the black woman”, and that is in a way teaching our daughters to solely have pride in being strong. So, they ignore the softness and feminity and natural beauty we possess. We need the men of our community to tell their daughters and significant others that they are alluring and attractive. We need our black musicians, to have an array of black women in their videos,and especially those who are of darker hue.They should celebrate our blackness, and stop writing lyrics such as: thick redbone, or i want a girl asian/black. or when talking about a black woman, cast a woman that doesn’t look black. Now, I understand people have their preference, and we are free to show that, but if you see a lack of self-esteem in your community, if you represent your community and you know that being a labled as a role-model shouldn’t you be more responsible?

    I write this to say that we can blame the industry for racism towards black models, like asian models can as well. but, why must we always condemn others. If something is lacking in society, create your own. If the black designers aren’t hiring more black models than whites for campaign ads, fashion shows, etc, than they are lacking in building up their community, and the black community should hold them accountable and not buy their products. Just like Jewish people demand honor and loyality from their own, black folks should stop trying play embrace everyone and hire their own 99% of the time. Frankly, we are the only ones buying into that, “Dr. King’s I Have A Dream” speech. There is no excuse for Sean Combs, Kimora Simmons, House of Deron, etc, not to have more black models for their campaigns,etc. NONE. Black folks have always looked at money and success in the white eyes, and not loyality towards their own. That is why we are the one race without loyality, and others have always capitalized on that.

    Besides, the fact that I LOATHED Baby Phat, House of Deron FOR THEIR LACK OF TASTE, I WILL NEVER SUPPORT BLACK FASHION HOUSES THAT DONOT HAVE BLACK MODELS 90% BECAUSE IT’S NOT WHITE GIRLS WEARING THAT BUT MOSTLY BLACK WOMEN.

    BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, SEAN JEAN, BABY PHAT ARE OWNED BY WHITE MEN, AND PUFFY AND RS,KS ARE JUST EXECS, AND FACES FOR THE COMPANY.

    SO BACK TO MY POINT, BLACK MODELS IF THEY AREN’T HIRED BY WHITE/OTHER FASHION LINES, THAN BLACK DESIGNERS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO HIRE THEM. NO EXCUSES.

  2. Wow @ the quote …”white girl dipped in choclate” *sigh*

    Keep your head up Renee….and all the other Black Models out there.

  3. THIS EXACLTY THE SAME REASON KELLY ROWLNADS WAS SIDELINED …ITS A REALITY BLACK WOMAN HAVE TOUGH IN THAT INDUSTRY

  4. @ BOHWE….
    Well said indeed. Not only do I co-sign but you’ve got my vote for President. LOLOL!!!

  5. I,too, like MS. EVA, co-sign with BOHWE. I understand the point in pointing out the lack of sistas in the modeling world. But honestly, we should unite, as a people, and fight against the more detrimental cases of racism that affects the masses, and really all people of color on the national as well as global level.

    I`m speaking of the globalization of white supremacy. This has been going on since the biblical days and it still runs its` course even today. The whole globalization of white supremacy is nothing more than a psychological war that the whites conduct on a daily basis in order to maintain control, this is just one of the reasons.

    Their text books are FILLED with lies and we have all eaten from that tree only to reinforce their so-called superiority. They have conducted this war against all people of color very skillfully. They have done everything they can to let the world know that ‘white’ is superior and that ‘black’ is inferior.

    Angel food cake is white, Devil food cake is black, Black Monday, Blackmail, Blackball, the bride dresses in white, have a ‘white’ Christmas, it`s okay to tell a little ‘white’ lie, you wear black to funerals, (covertly telling us that black signifies death). And last, but certainly not least, they gave our ancestors a pale-faced Jesus once they did allow them to read the bible.

    That ‘white’ Jesus was then passed from generation to generation as we gave credence to their warp minds. However, the truth of the matter is they do all they can to make us fell inferior when it is they who are not comfortable with themselves.

    The deeper truth is that in reality they loathe their pale skin. Why do you think th tanning business is a multi-billion dollar industry? For black to be so unattractive there`s certainly a lot people burning themselves to look like us and enjoy a darker hue. You see 4/5 of the world is dark so they feel like the odd man out.

    What does nature tell us when we look around us and observe the planet? It tells me that color is natural to the planet itself. ‘Whiteness’ is not natural and the laws of nature bear witness to this fact. White people have to make themselves forget that they are the only group of people on the planet who are without melanin by constantly re-inforcing their so-called ‘white supremacy’.

    Black is BEAUTIFUL, we know it, and they know it. I may have digressed somewhat but sometimes it`s necessary in order to get a point across. In the final analysis we, as people of color, should concentrate our efforts on fighting against these injustices, known as ‘white supremacy’ on a more higher level. I understand the modeling issue, however, it`s very miniscal when you look at this sickness in it`s totality.

    Michael Jackson & The GOLDEN 80S 4ever!!! Long live The “MASTER SHOWMAN”. Luv u Mike.

    Peace, in the spirit of my “HERO” Brotha Malcolm X. Long live Brotha Malcolm and I luv u.

  6. As another poster said, “Until WE celebrate Black beauty, no one else will.

    Between the weaves, perms, colored contact lenses and light skin as the preferred standard of beauty in our community, we have no leg to stand on in terms of saying what is beautiful because all we find beautiful is a “white knock off”. Black women are the only one’s who subject their baby girl children to chemical relaxers..There are so many companies out there just for “Black Folks” to “bust them naps”. SO, what do we expect when our little girls grow up to keep the perm train going? Yes, we have those stupid shows with beauty pageants and little white girls looking like “Barbie for a Day” but when you see the kids with their families outside of the pageants, they are just little girls being little girls. Also, there is such a small percentage of young white girls doing this.
    NO one makes a product for them called, “JUST FOR ME”.

  7. Its time for Black Designers and those who support Black models on the runway to create their own Fashion Week.

    Models like Renee should continue to try and get to the top but we must promote Black beauty more through our own work.

  8. I worked at a design house and a PR firm and I can confirm that the decision as to which models to hire is solely up to the designer. Their clothes, their show, their models. Anyone who tries to tell you different is bulls*******. Period.

    There are a few high fashion designers at New York Fashion Week that have made it a point to use a variety of diverse models if not all black models (Sophie Theallet) season after season.
    At the same time we can not fault a white designer who wants to use white models to reflect themselves, their target market etc.,. I know some designers that simply don’t want black people in their clothes (unless its Michelle Obama or Oprah) because they are “different” black folk…(I’ve heard it ALL!)

    Also most of the major high fashion publications are run by white folks for white folks…so we as consumers need to either keep up (design, employ and consume for/from OURSELVES as well as the Euro stuff)or simply shut up! If the world needs to see black beauty in Fashion Week than why leave up to a white designer?…where are the black ones? Tracy Reese is doing her thing…where is everyone else?

    We don’t need validation from “them” or to feel like tokens. We have to start creating and nurturing our own oppurtunites in HIGH FASHION (not just low budget “urban” street wear). Even they no longer use typical black models! lol…whatevs

    Lets celebrate and see the beauty in ourselves and the rest will inevitably follow.

    Black is beautiful and its funny how that fact scares people 🙂

  9. This is exactly why Lil Kim is so messed up. lol She is a product of industry white-washing. Plus most “successful” black actresses and singers are multi-racial, light-skinned, and/or have more European features.

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