Thursday, March 20, 2008

In other Blogs...

A post called "Darker Skinned Glamour Girls" on Racialicious caught my eye this morning. In it Latoya Peterson wrote about something she noticed while paging through an issue of the UK beauty magazine "Pride." She writes:

Hmm, I thought to myself, they have a lot of dark skinned women in this magazine. Wonder why?

Then I wondered to myself why I thought it would be strange to have dark skinned women in a magazine that caters to black women. That should have been a no-brainer. So why was I surprised?

and later,

It just seems like fashion has a specific look that is acceptable for dark skinned women. It is almost as if the woman is not dark with close cropped hair and a bone-thin physique, she simply does not exist.

I've had that same thought go through my head. Nothing will get me to pause on a page longer than the inclusion of a woman with dark skin. It's like I'm staring at a unicorn or something.

Aside from Naomi, off the top of my head I'm having a little trouble thinking of a "glamour girl" model who has very dark skin and honestly even Naomi is probably somewhere in the middle of our color spectrum.

This is not to imply that they aren't out there but when one does see them, they usually fall into a certain mold.

There seems to be a handful of lovely Africans dividing up some of the crumbs brushed down to non-white models in the industry but in spite of the many different types of beauty represented on that continent, most fashion mucks seem to only want to focus on the girls with keen features like Liya Kebede or the cropped hair darker skinned models like Alek or Ajuma.

The first type can appear in the Estee Lauder and Tiffany and Co. ads while the latter is going to see a lot of leopard skin in the course of her career.

Of course there are exceptions.

Sessilee Lopez is currently appearing in ads for Lanvin but her dark skin is seemingly used as one the stylist's props.

Also, Naomi is still thriving in her career but she is such an icon at this point that it hardly seems fair to compare her success to the plight of a model of color with no real name recognition. Her ads for Pinko (see above photo) has the feel of a celebrity endorsement.

Of course, none of this is new especially in this industry but I always find myself hoping that one of these days I'll be surprised in a good way when paging through a mag.

photo source: TFS/simplylovely


Kwana said...

Really good post and made me think. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think sesilee lopez has been darkened for the purpose of the shoot. It seems to me that On her runway photo she looks different.

Anonymous said...

hey there's nina keita who is a dark skinned model without cropped hair who has been featured in old navy ads for awhile now. in the new ads she is even treated as a normal model, as she is the main girl and is not in a typical "one black girlfriend" role. she's actually the one which the plot surrounds.

aulelia said...

this is uncanny, i was thinking a lot about pride's worth as a magazine. it has improved so much and i am glad that it is featuring dark skinned girls. thank goodness for that.

Brigitte said...

Anon, I noticed those Old Navy ads the other day but didn't know who the model was, thanks!