Sunday, 08 May 2011 10:59

Top Model of Colour is Racist?

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Let me get straight to the point here, is the Top Model of Colour competition a racist, outdated competition that is no longer needed as all models of colour now operate on an equal footing with Caucasian models?

I ask this question as I recently received the email below and it alleges to be from an African American, The Email; Written by Camille Schmidt

Ok, My personal Twitter to you, as an African American Woman, I'd like to know who why do you label your Moel Show, '' Top Model of Color?'' 

White Models Painted Black

I mean who the f(*^(^^$ would say that or label a show that in 2011. The first Top Model of Color was Beverly Johnson (USA), back in the late ''60's early 70's and 40 years later these woman of Color in Britain & Holland are still letting you single them out? So by saying ''Top Model of Color'', you are basically separating the women of color from the European women. You are in effect saying that the women of color have to have their own show, they can't participate in ours, etc. Either you are too dumb to understand the reality of what your show is doing by labeling women of color as different, or just plainly prejudice!

Sadly, you have bamboozled Blacks in Europe who will let you label them, separate them; in this fashion! Wake up it's 2011. I wonder what Tyra would say???

Or please pray tell, is this a network designed to introduce more Women of Color into the modeling world? Please help me understand, because in 2011, any women of color has a shot at a regular modeling career, the same as a White woman.

Another side to the story
- I received an email from the London College of Fashion and it read as follows, the key bit is highlighted in bold below, The Email; Written by London College of Fashion

"Over the past few years we have been trying to diversify the look we have on the catwalk – our creative director has been instrumental in creating a show which demonstrates the breadth of talent that exists at LCF but also the extraordinary diversity within our student body which reflects fashion in its truest and most international state. LCF has worked hard to provoke debate around body image, age, beauty and ethnicity – and we want this to be reflected in our shows.  Although there is plenty of evidence that the fashion world is changing we don’t think it is fast enough – and given that our students are the future of the industry we feel that it’s our role to be the ones to push boundaries.

But we feel that diversity especially amongst the models which are put forward for our shows by modelling agencies are not representative – hence the reason we’re looking to the public."

I have my views on both sides of the two emails but as always I look to you to educate me.


Butterfly Models


  • Comment Link Lisette Mibo Wednesday, 13 July 2011 16:01 posted by Lisette Mibo

    to be more direct: the lady from (US) obviously she is ignorant enough to see that despite the changes and media publicity, models of colours still struggles for their talents to be recognise. therefore, it is always very helpful for competitions like this to help raise one's profile and opportunity if not all, because doing it by 'ourselves' because (I, myself is an upcoming model of colour and have experienced the 'darkside') anayway back to what i was saying: is alittle bit impossible even if your good and is even a double job or too expensive to be able to convience the top agencies into considering you to their books but OPPORTUNITIES FROM COMPETITION LIKE THIS HELPS ALOT BECAUSE IT NOT ONLY DOES THE CONVIENCING FOR YOU BUT ALSO teaches the right techniques. SO, WHY SHOULD IT NOT BE A COMPETITION FOR MODEL OF COLOURS? PEOPLE NEED TO STOP BEING IGNORANT by pretending that RACE DISCRIMINATION does not exist not only in the fashion industry but all other industries but the DIFFERENCE IS THAT TODAY, IN 2011, IT IS DONE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and not direct to our faces....

  • Comment Link Gwendolyn Cahill Sunday, 08 May 2011 14:08 posted by Gwendolyn Cahill

    I am happy that you shared that article with me. We have always faced prejudices and we will always face prejudices. Separate but equal will always exist in part because people do tend to naturally gravitate towards people who look like them. Italian Civic groups, Hispanic Heritage, Irish Heritage groups etc. are not called racist. It’s very clear that we continue to be under represented in advertising and promotion of people of colour who have embraced natural hair beauty and ethnic clothing styles too. I would like to see more models that represent my voluptuous black figure.

    I think it is wonderful that you have developed a highly professional program for women of colour.

    We have historically black colleges and universities because we were barred from mainstream colleges. So it would obviously it is in our best interest to expose our natural beauties to the world in an agency that recognizes that racism exist.

    My question to you is do white models apply? If so what is your response to them?

    My dream would be to have you do a fashion show here in the NY/NJ area and that I would have a front seat at the show. Why I have such an interest in fashion because I was a model in my college’s fashion show and was directly involved in the development of the show and selecting clothing for the show. I used to sew. Also when I graduated from college I worked at Abraham and Strauss as a sells girl. I wanted to be a buyer. I watched them promote a lady who only had a high degree. I remember my interview at Macy’s where a young guy sat next to me and said oh you will get in the management program because of Affirmative Action. Guess what I was not chosen. You broke the glass ceiling. Therefore, they are looking for ways to shove you down but that will not happen.

    Again, I am very proud of your success!


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