I remember exactly why I wanted to work in the fashion and beauty industry, and no, it wasn't because of the poppin' clothes or endless supply of makeup. It was because I wanted to see more Black girls owning the space.
I couldn't understand how I could look at television shows, runways, and brand campaigns, and never see someone who looked like me. It made me wonder about the visibility of Black women, and as I got older, I saw how this fact was consistent across the board for women of color. While the industry has in many ways increased visibility and accessibility to resources for Black girls, there are still times that you really have to look and just shake your head.
Case in point, recently, model Joia Talbott spoke out and said that because she was Black, she and other models were dismissed from a casting call during Miami Swim Week. She said that after getting there, she and 15 other models were told that the castings were closed.
She not only posted a video on Facebook, but swore in a post Instagram post that Black girls are going to prove the industry wrong.
Honestly, it's sad that this is still a reality for so many people in the industry, even though movements like #BlackModelsMatter pledge to increase visibility for Black models on and off the runway. It's tiring to see the same people consistently in the media, who claim the majority of these opportunities. It's not just about being a Black girl, it's about understanding that we are not an anomaly and we can do the same things as everyone else.
Well, since some companies continue to play games, here are 5 models of color that I'd love to see on more runways and campaigns:
Y'all know Slick Woods, the no F**ks given model who really peaked visibility when she joined Queen Rih for Fenty Beauty. I want to see Slick in more campaigns and opportunities, showcasing everything from her buzz cut to her full lips and gap.
*Featured image of Leomie Anderson by eyeofscottie