After reading the latest headlines of fashion designers choosing not to utilize Women of Color in their fashion shows and on their runways, it is a bit paradoxical for me. You see. . . . on the one hand, when the African-American Actresses walk the red carpet in these same designs, I've never once read that a fashion designer had a problem with a Woman of Color at that particular time. And why would they?
These designers are receiving all sorts of free advertising and press coverage. The designers and all whom are representatives of these designers, receive funds from these African-American actresses without even thinking about it. But oh I forget, money is green isn't it? And the color of the person's hand whose purchasing these designer clothing isn't an issue. Now on the other hand, these same designers are using spray tans to make the white models appear darker, they're using lip tricks and plumpers to make their lips larger, and they are using hair extensions for the “textured look. " Okay. . . . is it me or are these designers attempting to create an illusion of a Black Woman on their runways? I mean. . . . "What The Hell People!" The bronzed skin, nice full lips, and hair extensions are beautiful character traits and features of Women of Color. When it's time to walk the runway, all sorts of thought is put into the justification of why Black Models aren't being utilized. So the question is: “Can The Fashion Industry Really Continue To Thrive and Survive If African-American Spending Power Came To A Complete Halt? Note to designers: Why not place a tag in your clothing so that African-Americans can steer clear of your particular designs that states the following: “This Collection Is Not Designed For African-Americans. I Do Not Utilize Black Models In My Fashion Shows Because They Are Just Too Darn Beautiful To Look Ridiculous!"
Moving forward. . . The spending power of African-Americans in this country alone has topped between $631 billion and $688 billion according to Black Enterprise.com. And according to a new study conducted by ReportBuyer.com - the buying power of African-Americans is expected to reach at least $1.1 trillion by the year 2012. So. . . whose really keeping these fashion designers in business? In any other industry, racist behavior is not tolerated at all. It does happen, but there are repercussions and consequences to such behavior. So why is racism so dominant and accepted in the fashion industry?
There aren't any justifications for this; it has just gone on for so long - people think that it is a prerequisite to becoming a Model. It is a negative, demeaning, and ignorant belief of those who live with fear that something is going to be taken from them. What other reason could there be that allows Black Models to be subjected to blatant rudeness and negativity, all at the mercy of individuals whom possess simple minds. And a simple-minded person clearly isn't qualified to place judgement. “When a Black Model walks the runway she undoubtedly commands attention, she dominates the runway, and she compliments the designs which then brings them to life. " Black Women are blessed with natural curvaceousness which is a bit intimidating in some environments. And yes. . . negative remarks are made about an African-American Woman's attractive figure, but the last time I checked. . . butt and hip implants from non-black women was at an all time high!
Fashion designers. . . "When you exclude a race of people from your fashion shows because of your ignorance of what you think and view as beautiful. . . and indeed you have that right as they are your designs. . . don't expect Women of Color to purchase your clothing. When you don't employ Women of Color to walk your runways. . .in a sense. . . you have just loudly shouted to them as well as to the world. . . that “Black Women Aren't Beautiful Enough. " This type of behavior results in feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among the few Black Models that are in existence; which also spills over into their personal lives resulting in low self-esteem and shattered confidence. No one in this world -including fashion designers- is qualified to cast judgment.
The fashion industry wants to make this particular statement true: “If She's White Put Her In The Spotlight. . . If She's Black Put Her In The Back. " Black Women purchase the high-fashion magazines whose editors have been reported as saying “Black Faces On The Cover of Magazines Just Doesn't Sell!" Black Women attend the fashion shows and also wear the designer's clothing where Black Models are non-existent on the runway. Black Women all over the world easily carries the latest Louis Vuitton Bags, the latest Prada Bags, the latest Gucci Bags; and can buy whatever they desire. After reading a particular internet news report, Prada did not employ at least one Black Model in its show this year. Black Women spends thousands of dollars on the same designers clothing whom never utilize Black Models. Now we know! Action must be taken to exclude the Black Dollars from ending up in the fashion designers pockets who do not utilize Black Models on their runways. Action must also be taken to put a halt to the spending power of Black Women who purchase the fashion magazines where editors claim Black Faces doesn't sell. I buy all of the high fashion magazines each month depending on whose on the cover - didn't matter whether it was a black model or a white model. I am a cultural fan of all races as my family is diverse, mixed raced, and very colorful people; however, since this new information has surfaced my purchasing of said magazines are no more. I refuse to spend money on magazines without any Black Models on the covers, photographers who don't shoot Black Models, and to see the advertisements of the fashion designer's clothing whom did not employ Black Models on their runways. This isn't a racist decision, but rather one of common sense. If the magazines exclude Women of Color (of which I am) on their covers, as well as informative write-ups and articles relating to Women of Color; who would I identify with?
The truth is this: “Black Women are very exotic, sensual, beautiful and sexy; which results in feelings of intimidation from those who are responsible for a Black Model's success in the industry. The fashion industry thrives on purposely smashing Black Models self-esteem and confidence as a way of feeling powerful, which is really a feeling of ignorant false self-confidence. Note to Fashion Designers: “Stop and think for a second. While you are so busy keeping your runways white, be clear about your objectives and preferences; and stop spray tanning your non-black models brown, adding texture to their hair with hair extensions, and plumping up their lips. All this non-sense can be avoided if you utilize those who are already gorgeous and brown!"
Thank You To Italian Vogue Magazine For Realizing True Beauty! I Don't Speak A Word of Italian, But I Am Now A Fan of Your Magazine and The July 2008 Issue Will Inevitably Become A Historical Collector's Item!
Monica Burns-Capers Copyright ©2008 Monica Burns-Capers. All Rights Reserved.
Monica Burns-Capers Is President-CEO of Monica Mi'Chelle Communications: A Professional Writing and Self-Development Consulting Firm.
Dr. Monica Burns-Capers, Ph. D Is An Expert Author, Freelance Writer, Consultant, College Professor of Organizational Management, and President-CEO of Monica Mi'Chelle Communications: A Professional Writing and Self-Development Firm. For More Information Visit Her At: http://mmcommunications.media.officelive.com