Complexities In The Fashion Industry


Maanami Phillips

For hairstylist that cant relate to maintaining a coarse textured hair it might be hard living up to slaying it, which is probably why everyone is side eyeing Victoria Secret and other major fashion companies.

Black Twitter exploded today after a woman posted a photo of Model Zuri Tibby’s hair in her online Victoria Secret campaign. While Zuri Tibby blessed the catalog with her beautiful bronzed brown skin and amazing body, her hair was disastrous and extremely noticeable. After the photo was posted on twitter it quickly generated more than 5,000 retweets and is buzzing around all major entertainment outlets. However, people quickly blamed the model for allowing herself to continue knowing her hair was not properly done, claiming she did it for the money and publicity.

Yeah, because after Victoria Secret pays her that fat catalog check she can buy as many hairstyles as she wants.

Before we blame her though, should we address the fact that maybe the people responsible for her hair just couldn’t grasp the concept of taming her crown from the motherland. Or maybe that there aren’t enough black hairstylist, makeup artist and designers in the fashion industry that can be responsible for black models and entertainers. While we will never know what really went down with her hair or how she felt at the time, she is not the only model that suffers from this.

Considering this is the year of the melanin and more exotic women are starting to realize the beauty of their coconut oiled melaninated skin and afro curly hair, models are gaining more visibility in major shows and campaigns. Though, this visibility comes with sacrifices, Model Pippa Christian told Elle Magazine that emails with the subject “Hair Type: all except afro” still get sent out today.

In simpler terms, if you are a black model looking for work you would have to sacrifice damaging your tight curls with a relaxer or heat damage if you want to work with the major fashion icons and be successful. Pippa Christian went on to say, “It’s often a catch 22 scenario, as I don’t want to speak out too harshly on a hair stylist’s craft whilst they are doing my hair as I would be seen as ‘aggressive’ or a ‘diva’ (as they brush out my afro with a hairbrush I would never use on my hair with the aim to get ‘more defined curls’…), but as I sit there in my seat, seeing my hair look gradually worse than when I arrived, it does inevitably diminish my confidence on a shoot or show and alter my overall performance at doing my job, because I don’t feel like I look my best.”

It’s safe to say that black hair will always be a topic of discussion especially if black models continue to excel in the fashion industry. Nonetheless, it’s solely up to models to decide if they are okay with their hair not being socially acceptable. You would think with all the cultural misappropriation going on in 2017 a lot more stylist would be a bit more diverse in their skillsets.

Moral of the story… Love yourself girl, or nobody will.



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