By Jasmine Chorley
In 20th century American media, African American women were rarely represented in ways that respectfully reflected their diversity of self-identities. Rather images of black women were refracted though white fears, prejudices, and preoccupations with specific ideas of gender, sexuality, and class. The Civil Rights era saw African American consumers and media to express types of beauty distinct from white America, but these gains failed to endure.
The modelling industry in the 21st century is unquestionably dominated by whiteness. Of who I argue are the most successful female models working today, 16.05% are women of colour and, more specifically, 7.41% are of African descent. The modelling industry did not emerge from the Civil Rights era free from mid 20th century ideas of race and gender, but has reverted to those very restrictions that were temporarily loosened in the 1960s-1980s.Read More