Too Black For Fashion?

The Model Nykhor Paul is fed up with the fashion world and is making her feelings known.

The South Sudanese model posted an open letter on her Instagram account Monday addressing all the “white people in the fashion world” — specifically makeup artists — who don’t know how to work with models who have darker complexions. The 25-year-old model, who has appeared in shows for Calvin Klein and Rick Owens, blasts the particularly unprofessional makeup artists who “try to make her feel bad” about her skin color when they are unprepared with cosmetic hues that will match her skin tone. She asks, “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?”

Paul clearly doesn’t hold back. And the South Sudanese beauty, who is also awell-known human rights activist, isn’t alone in her struggle. She is just one in a chorus of black models who have bemoaned their experiences in the highly homogeneous fashion industry.

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn once dealt with a makeup artist who outright refused to work with her because of her skin color. In addition, fashion icon Beverly Johnson was confronted with the same ignorance decades ago and would arrive at shoots with her hair already done and her own foundation in tow so she didn’t have to interact with makeup artists.

We must try to do better, be better, so the future in the fashion industry for minority people can be better.


Kamahl Sami- Miller

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