BY B SAPHIEL
In the past, icons such as Iman and Naomi Campbell have been very vocal about models of colour having to contend with limited resources backstage. The supermodel Naomi Campbell has stated in interviews numerous of times how unprepared professional stylists were to work with black models at the beginning of her modelling career.
“When I was younger, I encountered this same issue. I would be backstage at shows and there would be stylists who didn’t have any experience working with black models,” she tells Teen Vogue. “It’s disappointing to hear that models of colour are still encountering these same issues all these years later.”
Rihanna was driven to start her cosmetic make-up brand Fenty Beauty due to this same issue in the industry. The ‘Work’ hit maker spotted the gap in the make-up industry when it comes to coloured people finding the right shade for their skin. Riri changed the game by providing 50 shades for all skin types; paying particular attention to darker tones.
As if that was not enough, she also created foundation shade finder quiz, making it easier to compare foundation shades and find the perfect Pro Filt’r foundation shade number.
But before Rihanna, there was IMAN! And after she dealt with this same issue for years, she also decided to design a skin care collection called IMAN Cosmetics. The fashion model birthed IMAN Cosmetics in 1994 for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a myriad of shades.
So why the outrage?
Recently, Twitter users expressed their anger over the incompetence in white professional make-up artists when it comes to making up people of colour. This issue was brought back to life after Instagram influencer Sandra Lambeck was trolled on social media for a photo shoot with the fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing (PLT).
Sandra appeared to look visibly ‘oily’ as she posed for PLT.
In an interview with make-up artist Bridgit Obeng, she admits that there is “lack of experience with white professionals when it comes to black girls.” In her experiences of attending make-up masterclasses, she has noticed a distinct difference in the makeup looks practised on white girls vs black girls.
As Sandra Lmbeck’s images went viral, it opened a conversation between twitter users about the level of unprofessionalism with the Instagram influencer’s make-up. @TheWeeezy on Twitter began the argument when she compared Sandra’s personal Instagram picture side by side to the one on the PLT page tweeting ‘Sandra Lambeck on Insta vs in real’.
Sandra Lambeck ON INSTA VS In REAL .. pic.twitter.com/EW9yEdMxwi
— Brown Skin Girl ✨ (@TheWeeezy) November 12, 2019
While this tweet might have simply been a dig at the influencer, it has resulted in many models tweeting their own bad experiences they have had with white make-up artists.
I wasn’t going to say anything about the Sandra Lambeck uproar. But as a model myself here is PROOF that there needs to be more work done in the industry when it comes to BLACK MODELS.
1st pic 0 make up. 2nd pic, taken on set after being in hair & make up for 2+ hours😊 #HELPUS pic.twitter.com/khsKe7Ju7N
— Vivian🥀 (@Vivs_x) November 14, 2019
Many argued that there needs to be more work done in the modelling industry when it comes to the inclusion of black models.
Beauty blogger Bridgit Obeng also adds that big brands need to “stop using white models to advertise black products”. She advises white professionals to practice and gain more experience to bridge this gap.