Module 2:Racism in the Fashion Industry

This week I chose to write about fashion because it is essential to our everyday lives. Not only is it a true art form but it is also something we spend our lives in. Even though it’s 2020 racism still exists and is known problem in the fashion industry.  As a black person living in the United States racism effects my everyday life. I care about the topic because it hits close to home for me both by way of my experiences and by the art form that I really love.

Racism in the fashion industry wasn’t something that was covered in media until what feels like very recently. A lot of major fashion houses were getting called out for only using white models in their shows and advertising. Magazines were called out for feature these exclusionary and/or racist ads. On the opposite side of the spectrum brands were celebrated for their diversity and advertisements were applauded for featuring models of color (bonus points if they weren’t stereotyped).

My problem with the ways media covers this topic is the fact that it seems so trivial. A lot of times articles don’t highlight the fact that racism in fashion has very real consequences for people in their everyday lives. This could be young black people not seeing people who look like them in magazines and therefore not feeling beautiful because the “beautiful” people in the magazines don’t look like them. This could be the very real struggles of a young model of color who can’t find work because of racism in the industry. The shows with no models of color, racist ads or racist pieces of clothing really have an impact on the daily lives of people of color.

Resources I’ve found for information on racism in the fashion industry are through the Huff Post and the New York Post . My problem is the fact that while they are writing about racism often times the writing is done by a white person. The writing lacks nuance that a person of color could give based on their lived experience. I also turn to the New York Times for information on this topic as well. Overall I think this is an important topic that could honestly be covered more by the mainstream media. The more the subject is covered the more we can actively work towards being anti-racist in all aspects of our lives. I think once people realize the true consequences of racism the more of an open dialogue we will have.