I tried to report some positive stuff today — we need levity! Any day that Naomi Campbell hasn’t tried to impale someone with her Blackberry is a day worth celebrating. Unfortunately, she feels that black models are getting the shaft in these tough economic times.
“This year, we have gone back all the way that we had advanced. I don’t see any black woman, or of any other race, in big advertising campaigns. People, in the panic of the recession, don’t dare to put a girl of colour in their campaign, full stop. Nor of any other race. It’s a shame. It’s very sad.”
Even dress designer Bruce Oldfield agrees. “It’s absolutely true that black models will be not as popular for advertising companies and magazine covers as white girls. In a recession, it’s probably doubly difficult for black girls to get a booking. In this climate, things are worse, but it is compounding a problem that already exists. Cover editors are going to choose white over black. Naomi is not far off the mark.”
You know, I haven’t noticed this, but that’s probably because I’m not black. Now that I think of it, I can’t think of too many high-profile, visible African American models (I’m excluding black singers and actresses that have landed cosmetic contracts). I do remember when Tyra Banks was the first African-American model to appear solo on the cover of Sports Illustrated — it was a big deal. That was when I first learned that magazine sales generally don’t perform as well with a person of color on the cover. I’ve never known the reasons behind the whole “black doesn’t sell” phenomenon. Racism?
Barack Obama holds the top office in the land — can’t our society can get past this old-fashioned and narrow mindset?