Today's Evil Beet Gossip

The Good News? Naomi Campbell Didn’t Throw Her Phone At Anyone


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?

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  • It’s not so much actual racism as it is what people think of as the standard of beauty. And dark-skinned black women will forever be on the low rung of beauty than their white, asian, hispanic, etc counterparts. Plus people want to see who they can relate to. Miranda Kerr is more relatable with her brownish-blonde hair and blue eyes than Selita Ebanks or Chanel Iman

    • I was at a water park yesterday and there were people of all races running around and playing, but the one that stood out was this little girl who’s skin was so, so dark. I was thinking to myself, “Who doesn’t think this is beautiful?”
      My sister is black (i’m not) and her skin is very dark. One of the first things she remarked on after her daughter was born was how happy she was that her daughter’s skin was much lighter than her own. It made me sad.

  • Even the black community itself follows that trend. Has anyone heard of that study where they had black girls, aged 4-11, pick the doll that was the prettiest? They had a black doll and a white doll to choose from. And they consistently chose the white doll most of the time. It was done first about 20 years ago, I think but then repeated a few times a couple years ago.

  • I think Naomi Campbell is perfect. PERFECT. Her skin and body are flawless. I think the consumers need to start pushing the companies to change. I for one will write letters to companies where I shop. Banana Republic, Club Monaco, Bebe….. wow Ive spent so much money and they never have black ad campaigns. BCBG does. Banana has the occasional black model on their web page.

  • I noticed that the Time article referenced is from 1970. Did you notice this? I think (and hope) this would not be an issue today. But there is some trend towards religious fundamentalism so it may be even more of an issue today.

  • To be honest, I think Naomi’s lack of booking has more to do with her violent nature than her colour of skin. Who wants to see a physical abuser ona big campaign ad?

    Ugh sorry for my English, my head’s a bit woozy, but I hope I got my point across.

  • statistically black people do not purchase as much as white people, especially in a recession luxury items are the first to go. Furthermore, if you want to talk racism..why is it that main stream mags, fashion and cosmetic lines get grief for not putting black women in their adds but black people get their own magazines that are geared towards their community…If there was a magazine that was explicit for white people only their would be a public out cry. The fact of the matter is that this is not a racist thing it’s a marketing to the community that will buy our goods thing. It’s a business decision….just the same way they choose what ages of women to market to…the age group that’s the most impressionable and most likely to buy. NOT EVERYTHING IS A RACE ISSUE!! those who think it is and pull the “race card” are furthering racism from all groups in this country and beyond. The entire point of the civil rights movement is to see beyond color….not constantly making it the root of everything.

    • “There was a magazine that was explicit for white people only their would be a public out cry.”

      ….UMMMM, where have you been? Okay,

      1) I never said it was completely a race issue. I said it was a standard of beauty issue that stems from the fact that dark girls (in any ethnic group) are not thought of as the prettiest.

      2) There ARE magazines explicitly for white people. It may NOT say it on the cover in bold letters, but the content speaks for itself. I cannot tell you how many times I would open Seventeen Magazine or any of the other teen to young adult magazines and the titles on the cover would be “15 FUN Hairstyles for Spring,” “How to Get a HIGH FASHION Make-up Look With Thrift Store Make-up” or “The Safest Way to Get a Tan”

      None of the articles EVER applied to me (unless you counted the “My Best Friend is a BITCH” stories.) I have black hair, and unless I had a good weave put in (around $360) I was not going to be wearing one of those “FUN” hairstyles for Spring. I don’t need a tan and please do not get me started on the make-up selection at at stores like Target or Walmart. They NEVER go dark enough. Yes they have models like Tomiko Frasier on their ads and she is dark but they made a special shade for her photoshoot because there is NO shade that matches her colour in the selection we are given. And sidenote: the Queen Collection is pure crap. I tried that too being an optimist.

    • My point is that they are all the same. And each month was a recycling of last month’s story, and they consistently NEVER applied to me. So while, yes, they may not say “Specifically catered to White people,” their content speaks otherwise.

      3) For your question as to why there are magazines catered to people of other ethnicities? I think I already answered my question. It’s because what we would like to read is not written about in the others. “How Often Should You Really Use Relaxer?,” “How to Tell Your Parents You are Dating a White Boy,” “Versatile Looks for Your Braids.” Those articles are never written in Seventeen or the now defunct, CosmoGirl. Plus they have ads on make-up and hair products that we need.

      Yes, like you said: “it’s a marketing to the community that will buy our goods thing. It’s a business decision….just the same way they choose what ages of women to market to…the age group that’s the most impressionable and most likely to buy.” But you cannot fault certain groups to make their own business to cater to our needs too.

      • I know what you mean about the hair, and mine is “just” European hair albeit with thick curls.

        Apart from that, that’s Germany I am talking about where admittedly there are not so many black people as are in the US…I mean it’s hardly a minority we’re talking about here, right?

  • Given the choice, black children will often choose to play with white dolls over black ones ( ). It’s not racism, it something far more perfidious: hegemony and the internalization of inferiority complexes for those who feel they don’t fit the hegemonic definition of what is “best”.

    And America does not hold the monopoly on this. I know I’m always bringing up Japan, but while I was over there I noticed that most major advertising campaigns featured Caucasian models. I thought it odd that a country that is 98% racially homogeneous would choose white models for its ad campaigns over its own beautiful women.

    Hegemony is a powerful force.