Monday, 9 January 2017

Jourdan Dunn vs Kendall Jenner: Issues within the modeling industry

Now,  I am not one to follow trending mainstream media stories as half the time, they simply aren't true. Not to mention, I never watch the annual Victoria's Secret Show. However, the 'alleged' dismissal of Jourdan Dunn, to make room for Kendall Jenner brings light to a much bigger issue! The notion that white privilege is clearly prevalent in the modeling industry.

Being born a female, and a black female at that, in a world full of unfair paradigms is hard enough. Imagine, tirelessly building your career from scratch, in a world that dictates an unrealistic idea of beauty, only to have a white model, who was born rich with a career that hasn't even reached 50% of your accomplishments, unrightfully 'replace' you. I can't. The sad truth is that this isn't the first time a black model's career and/or beauty has been undermined for someone totally mediocre, and even worse, probably wont be the last. I have nothing against Kendall Jenner, but in all honesty, anyone that tries to argue the fact that her career wasn't already a success before she was even born is a liar. She was born in to wealth, born in to privilege, born in to a family, that now, has a cult-like following for reasons unknown to many. Therefore, Kendall earning her spot to walk in the Victoria's Secret show has nothing to do with hard work, and everything to do with privilege.

Similarly, in Australia, the diversity of models is seriously lacking! Although I have done some modeling here and there, I have never bothered to take it that seriously, as I know for a fact that my success story would not be in Australia. To get any type of decent castings/jobs here as a black model, you either have to be mixed (light skinned, curly-haired), or extremely dark skinned. There is no in between. I guess there is some ridiculous idea that there is only 1 type of 'black beauty'. The next time you watch a commercial, count how many black models you see. I can almost guarantee there wouldn't be more than 1 at a time. Apart from the rare 1 that's thrown in from time to time, to keep the black race happy, and feeling 'accepted'.

This may simply be my opinion based solely on experience and observation, however, I pray I see the day that the colour of one's skin doesn't automatically hinder their chance for an opportunity. Not just in modeling, but life in general. Not just in Australia, but the world.



~Posted by Vanessa

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