We have one black girl, we don’t need you..
In an industry that is dominated by white models, it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that women of colour get the short end of the stick. They must work twice as hard than white models, in older to secure their jobs.
Being a Victoria Secret model is an honour for any model in the industry, the title isn’t given to just any model, they must work for it and represent the brand. Since 1995 there has been 25 black models to walk the runway, most shows consist of 50 models for each show, 14 of them being Victoria Secret models and 37 of the world’s best known runway starts. The current roster of Victoria Secret models only has two black woman out of 14 models. In 2015, British model Jourdan Dunn who had walked the show 3 times between 2012-2014. She was scheduled to appear on the 2015 runway show but she was replaced by Kendall Jenner, Jourdan had taken to twitter to express her outrage. Moments after Rihanna cancelled her scheduled performance because Victoria Secret decided to drop Jourdan for Kendall. Kendall Jenner who was new to the model scene hadn’t even auditioned for the job, but just like that she was able to take Jourdan’s place. Here we have black model who has walked in the show and represented the brand for 2 years. Where she had auditioned each time and worked hard to prove she deserve the title of an angel, get replaced by a white model because of her name? The only reason Kendall got the job was because she was a Jenner/Kardashian not because of her modelling ability, no way was she a better model than Jourdan. This is why black model have to work harder their spot can be easily taken from them with just a blink of the eye.
Within the same year Vogue Italy hired Gigi Hadid for a shoot where she was black faced and wore an afro and had fuller lips. This shoot caused major backlash from fans on twitter, wondering why they hadn’t hired a black model in the first place who has those natural features? Again, cultural apportion comes into play and those apportion see no issue with it. This is one of the many covers that a black model could have been hired for, but they aren’t given the same opportunities, using black culture as a prop is never ok but companies continue to do it. Making it hard for black models to speak out against it with the fear of being black listed in the industry. Where as casting agents only hire one or two black models and advertising companies believe that black models don’t “sell”. They only hire black model so they don’t face backlash in the media, not because they believe black women should be on the runway. Their lack of diversity comes from seeking a certain kind of beauty, the typical western standard of beauty; tall, white, thin and blonde.