Liberian model recreates photo shoots to highlight whitewashing in fashion ads
Deddeh Howard calls out the lack of representation in her "Black Mirror" campaign.
Growing up, I would read some of my favorite fashion magazines and realize I would be 20 pages in without seeing someone that looked remotely like me. Ad after ad featuring there was no one to be found with my skin tone, my hair type or my facial features. Were brown and black girls not beautiful enough to be featured in high fashion editorial magazines?
Apparently, I was not the only girl that noticed the visible whitewash of the fashion industry.
Liberian-born model, Deddeh Howard is fully aware and ready to change the game. Earlier this week, she took to her website and released "Black Mirror", a campaign to highlight the lack of black girls in major fashion advertisements.
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"We are bombarded everyday with flashy advertisement, billboards and television ads that try to inspire us to buy the products that are hitting the market. Something that always bothered me when you see these amazing images that very rarely you ever see a black woman on them," Howard writes on her website.
And yes, there was Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Iman, but they are the exception to the rule.
She also noted instances outside of the fashion industry where African-Americans are depicted in the most negative way.
Howard wrote, "In a time where black people too often are in the media for being underrepresented at important events such as the Oscars or make headlines for being targeted by the police, I felt it was time to do something positive and inspiring about my race. For too long the negativity seemed to take over in the public eye."
The Fashion Spot, a trends website, reported that 75 percent of the 8,727 models who worked the runways in the New York, London, Paris and Milan fall fashion shows were white. The year before it was 80 percent. So many beautiful models and our community has been represented by the same three yet iconic women who have retired the runway years ago.
That doesn't seem fair. It's time for a change. Deddeh Howard is here to do just that.