It is such a sad sight to behold when watching a couture fashion show and see no Black women reflect the Black women I grew up with and who were apart of my community! All I see are these rail thin women who look emaciated and who are not breathtakingly beautiful. This goes for the women on both sides of the racial divide, Black or white, or person of color and white, all these woman largely look as though they were able to model for high fashion brands such as Louie Vuitton because they were super skinny, identified themselves as woman, and could walk. That is it. I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw this attractive sister and I found her to be stunning both body type-wise and her face was gorgeous.
I immediately went to her page to see more pictures and I came across a pic with a caption that said something to the effect of “ I post pictures on here because I was told I was too short and too thick to be a runway model.” The caption really bothered me because I cannot understand why she would be rejected from modeling when she is clearly just as aesthetically pleasing if not more so than a lot of these runway models I see on TMZ and in print adds. I thought to myself “maybe she is not being considered because she is Black?” But then I think about all the Black runway supermodels and I the thought vanished from my mind as quickly as it came.
If Black women and women of color who have body types that are not traditionally celebrated in high fashion, but are EXTREMELY SEXUALIZED, should we judge them for posting pictures of themselves on social media? Better yet, should we down play their decisions under constrained choices to pose in “booty” magazines when that is perhaps the most widely circulated legit modeling these women can find? As a heterosexual male I have no issues with women posing in “booty” magazines because it is a legit source of revenue for them and it could actually lead to higher paying more mainstream jobs, but what I do take issue with is the way these women are viewed by both men and women. If a white women whose body type suggests severe malnutrition decided to walk the catwalk for Gucci with her bare breasts exposed, no one bats an eye because it is considered “high fashion,” but when a Black woman poses in a magazine fully covered with lingerie, she is considered a “hoe” a “thot” or some other inaccurate and ill formed opinion of that women’s sexual life.
Why is that? Both scenarios feature women who are legit models in doing something risqué with their modeling, but the Black woman is the “whore” and the white woman as emaciated as she may appear is considered the professional? We have to stop doing this to Black women and always making them sexually deviant just because they may play up their sex appeal. It is always the unknown sisters who appear as “urban models” that receive the most criticism and ridicule, but we don’t ridicule Beyoncé when she performs night after night scantily clad and twerking calling her a “thot.”
If people feel so strongly about “Instagram models” “urban models” or the models that appear in “booty” magazines, maybe they should create an industry where we can show our beauty whether you’re thick or thin and put pressure on these high-end designers to create clothing for everyone, which includes thick Black bodies, and not just the sickly and emaciated. Maybe then we won’t have little Black girls resorting to Instagram because when they got older their dreams of walking the runway were crushed because they didn’t fit the phenotype of “legit”(malnourished looking white women) runway models.