This is one of those topics that are sometimes addressed in the fashion industry, and given more awareness in the last few years. It’s probably not even best to use the word racism per se. As it is more about the diversity that we need to have within the industry. Not talking about age, height, weight or gender, but only on race, as each fashion week that occurs, it can often be apparent that there are more Caucasian in fashion advertising and fashion runway. Fashion is a global language that affects all countries, through different advertisers, which is why it is so important to implement diversity – or rather, use a range of different people.
Ah, the topic of race is very sensitive to touch on. Growing up in a multicultural society, it is expected that one will face small or big issues from time to time. People are extremely influenced by the media they are exposed to. Too often the influence is by the similar image of a Caucasian with tanned skin and clear complexion. In the last several years, Asian models have grown more in order to cater for the Asian market, however Black models are still in the minor. The issue is that these models are showing (to blatantly put it) what is seen as beautiful, by the media. The problem is that when we limit cultural diversity, we limit the perspective on global beauty.
I was looking at various modelling agencies, and it seemed like a pattern that there were always minimum amount of people with colour. I didn’t really understand this, when I think about how multicultural we are in Australia, America, New Zealand and many other countries. The amount of Asians (in general) that want to have bigger eyes are (I guarantee) influenced by the media. When in reality, our natural eyes are beautiful! Just as we call white models simply ‘models’, why is there need to call a Black or Asian person a Black Model or an Asian Model. There is too much implication on race. When these are people simply doing their job, and should be typically recognized by their features, not their race. It is triggering words like ‘minority’, when ironically, these are two cultures that make up a significant amount of the worlds population.
The idealism of having a white, thin and tall women has become distinctively apparent within nearly many many campaigns, advertisements, magazine spreads and on the run way (where over 80% of runways in general are made up of Caucasians). It’s sad the amount of articles I read online, where Black models are told by modelling agencies that they already have ‘one black model’. We need a time for change. I hope that in the future there will be equality in the industry of promoting a true cultural diversity within the fashion industry. Especially with the digital world rising in prominence, the influence of fashion is greater than ever before.