Friday, January 18, 2008

Brazilian Models Protest Exclusion from Fashion Shows

About 20 Black fashion models in Rio protested outside of Oi (a major sponsor of the event) recently to demonstrate against what they felt was the exclusionary casting of runway shows for Fashion Rio. They claim that Black models were not given the opportunity to audition for many of the shows. Apparently only three Black models (all male) were cast for the event.

I've always been fascinated by racial politics in Brazil; how on the surface the country represents itself as a racial utopia when in practice the racial bias there is so clearly evident.

UPDATE: Youtube video of BBC newcast on the protest. One source in the video claims that in a country where 50% of the population is Black or mixed race, only 2% are Black. Many designers insist that no one is excluded and one insinuated when confronted with the complaints of black models that perhaps the models weren't cast because they were not 'good' or 'tall' or 'beautiful enough.'

BBC article: Race row over Brazil Fashion Week



HonorHoney said...

I remember seeing an article the middle of last year about Afro Latinos and it talked about the racial politics in a lot of South/Central American countries. I notice that the modeling/fashion industry promoted the hell out of the whole Brasilian Invasion but if you noticed most, if not all, of the models either have mostly Euro/Caucasian-type features or they're light(er) in complexion. I don't recall seeing any of the Brasilian women who looked like any of the women in this photo. It would stand that the three black models cast were male. Dark skin is viewed as attractive on males and unattractive on females...we still have work to do as far as letting go of these old stereotypes.

Brigitte said...

This is true. I've also noticed that darker skinned women in general are viewed as being more "masculine," especially if the woman in question is being ridiculed in some way. The "she looks like a tranny" epithet seems to be aimed at darker skinned women quite a bit. Also the tendency some black male comedians have for dressing like women in movies doesn't seem to help the perception.

aulelia said...

I agree with you on the comedian thing, why thandie newton was in norbit, i will never know. this was a good post.

Frank said...

black people always have it tougher due to the negative stereotypes propagated by a few bad apples in their communities...I wish thos models all the luck they can get. But they should also rememeber art should not be censored. Some fashionnists work only with black models for example.

Imagine-Nation said...

Here's how black people can change the fashion industry overnight: when black people refuse to patronize any major brand that does not prominently represent black models. Period. The entire industry would change overnight. Its more than about image - its billions of dollars worth of economics and black models with few exceptions find themselves cheated over and over, year after year. RISE UP AND WAKE UP, BLACK PEOPLE.