While the fashion industry is often under scrutiny for the lack of variety found in the models’ body types, this is not the industry’s only prejudice. Runway model Nykhor Paul took to Instagram Monday to speak out against racism in fashion.
Paul, who has modeled designs for Vivienne Westwood, Balenciaga and Rick Owens and posed in editorials featured in i-D, More and Elle South Africa, is tired of apologizing for her blackness. According to the Sudan-born beauty, makeup artists fail to supply dark foundation for black models.
“Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don’t have to do anything but show up?” she asks in a public letter captioning the black-and-white photo.
“A good makeup artist would come prepare and do there research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing.”
Generally speaking, the act of apologizing signifies a person has recognized his or her mistake and is willing to correct it in the future. Makeup artists who acknowledge the necessity to have a variety of foundations for different skin tones and knowingly choose to not make the purchase are in the wrong. Just as models come prepared for their jobs, so too should the makeup artists hired to work with the models.
“I’m tired of complaining about not getting book as a black model and I’m definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people.”
When it comes down to it, whether in regards to body type or skin tone, what women and men alike are searching for in the fashion industry is diversity. As Paul states, fashion is art, and art knows no limitations. It embraces all colors, shapes, sizes and forms. It is a form of art that is created as a result of a group effort. To take an idea and form a masterpiece, all members of the project must work together to create a satisfying end result.
No model, nor anyone, should have to feel as though they must apologize for who they are. Until the fashion industry can put a stop to such prejudices and racism, it will continue to teeter on the border of true artistry.