Monday, August 20, 2007

Naomi Speaks Out About Discrimination in Modeling Industry

Naomi Campbell (AAP)

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has lambasted top fashion magazines for avoiding black models in favour of fair-skinned beauties.

The London-born supermodel targeted Vogue in particular for its almost exclusive use of pale-skinned models.

"Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies," Campbell said in an interview reported in The Times.

"It is a pity that people don't appreciate black beauty."

The 37 year old plans to set up a new modelling program in Kenya in an effort to bring greater balance and diversity to glossy magazines.

Campbell is a regular visitor to the Kenyan coast, where her former boyfriend Flavio Briatore owns a hotel.

She has reportedly been impressed by local beauties and sees a market for African faces on the world stage.

Cambell first appeared on the cover of Vogue in 1987 when she was 17 years old — and was one of the first to gain the tag 'supermodel'.

It has been more than five years since she graced the magazine's cover, and she now believes Vogue is reluctant to use black models.

"Even myself, I get a raw deal from my own country in England," she said during interviews at Briatore’s hotel.

"Only white models, some of whom are not as prominent as I am, are put on splash pages.

"I don't want to quit modelling until I find that black models get equal prominence and recognition by the world media and information instruments."

She's not saying anything that the rest of us haven't been complaining about for years but I'm glad she's speaking out. It's sad that there were more Black high-profile models working 15 years ago than there are now.



CHIC NOIR said...

Now thats what you call a figure.

I think Naomi is comfortable speaking out now because her career is in the twilight. I've read somethings that she has said earilier in her career about the raw deal that black models get, but she has never spoken out like this.

Naki said...

I'm really impressed with miss campbell! It's about time...glad to see that she's making headlines for more than blackberry throwing tantrums. Dang, her body is really impressive too! Naomi 'aint sayin' nothing that everyone 'aint already said, but hopefully her celebrity will shed light on the issue :)

Great blog!

FemmeNoire said...

I think Naomi (and other working Black models) are in between a rock and a hard place. I'm sure most don't want to rock the boat and risk being blacklisted by these publications but speaking out. I am pleased that she said something. This is an issue that is always on my mind. That fold out Vogue cover with Chanel Iman got me going again. I'm shocked that in this day and age, these mags have taken such a giant step backwards in terms of diversity.