A 25-year-old model — who just walked for big-name designers like Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen during New York Fashion Week — says she’s quitting the industry for good.
Ajak Deng made the announcement in an Instagram post.
“I am happy to announce that I am officially done with the fashion industry, I will be moving back to Australia In order to live the life that I fully deserved. Which is real life,” she wrote. “I can no longer deal with the fakes and the lies. My life is too short for this dramatic life. I am thankful and grateful for every sweet souls that I have crossed path with (sic).”
Deng didn’t going into details about her departure, only thanking fans for their concern.
“Thank you for for your concerns but I am good and very happy with my decision. I am a fighter and a go getta, I will figured out what to do next. I love you all and thank you (sic),” she wrote on another Instagram post.
“… we black models have to stand together and support each other without fear of losing your job or being label as the big mouth angry black person, or lose the white privileges that you now think you have because we are all going through something but are not organized to speak in unison about these nonsense (sic)!!” she wrote. “… this is an industry where we the blacks models are at the bottom levels as much as they shoot us everyday we will never reach the white models level (sic).”
The modeling industry seems to be going backward in terms of diversity — white models still make up the vast majority of those on the catwalk. Supermodels like Iman and Naomi Campbell have also spoken about racism they’ve experienced.
“A few times I got excused by designers who told me, ‘We already found one black girl. We don’t need you anymore.’ I felt very discouraged,” Iman told the Sunday Times Magazine in 2013. “When someone tells you, ‘We don’t want you because we already have one of your kind,’ it’s really sad.”
Of course, we can’t say exactly why Deng decided to leave modeling because she didn’t clarify. It’s still a serious shame that we won’t see her modeling anymore.
But her personal happiness is absolutely more important than showing off pretty clothes.