Sunday, February 17, 2008

Trio of Articles from The Independent on Discrimination Against Non-White Models

Up and coming model Jourdan Dunn has been called the "New Naomi"

'Fashion is racist: insider lifts lid on 'ethnic exclusion'

..."Sadly we are in the business where you stock your shelves with what sells," she said.

"According to the magazines, black models don't sell," White continued. "People don't tend to talk about it, but black models have to be so beautiful and perfect because we can't have a lot of diversity with black models; it's harder work for the agency because there's not so much on offer. White models can have more diversity."

Ms White pointed the finger at those organising model castings, adding: "We have had casting briefs which say 'no ethnics'. But we are better in London than Paris and Milan; there if you offer a black girl they will drop the book like it's hot; it's such hard work for the bookers."

'Why should catwalks be so white?'

"London is not a white city, so why should our catwalks be so white?" said the teenager. "I go to castings and see several black and Asian girls, then I get to the show and look around and there is just me and maybe one other coloured face. They just don't get picked. I hope it's because the designer just did not think they were good enough as a model, but I don't know."

'Models often too afraid to launch a claim'

An industry so skewed towards non-ethnic minority workers is highly vulnerable to race discrimination claims. It may only take one high-profile case to trigger a torrent of race claims. The employment tribunals will then be able to set new parameters and fairer rules of employment.

The question is who will be brave enough to go first.

Thanks to Scriptgirl for the articles!

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