Nykhor Paul is tired of having to deal with makeup artists who don’t know how to handle her dark skin and, in a recent Instagram post, the South Sudanese model shared a well-deserved rant with the “white people in the fashion world.” In it, Paul said she’s so over having to apologize for her complexion and going so far as to carrying her own makeup for the team to use on her before a show. Other models of lighter tones surely don’t have the same issue and Paul said it’s time that Black models gained the same respect and professionalism.
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“Dear white people in the fashion world!” Paul begins. “Please don't take this the wrong way but it's time you people get your s**t right when it comes to our complexion! Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don't have to do anything but show up wtf! Don't try to make me feel bad because I am blue black its 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup forever, Iman cosmetic, black opal, even Lancôme and Clinique carried them plus so much more.”
Paul noted that there are lots of products to choose from if makeup artists only did their research ahead of a show. Their lack of even trying to learn their client is an indication that darker skin tones deserve less attention, that they’ll just have to get by with whatever the makeup artist already has in his/her arsenal. The 25-year-old went on to say that it’s not enough to just book a handful of Black models for a major fashion show and call it a day. No, design teams need to keep stepping ahead and make sure they are catering to their specific needs.
“[T]here's so much options our there for dark skin tones today,” Paul continued. “A good makeup artist would come prepared and do [their] research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing it's insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn't help, seriously! Make an effort at least! That goes for NYC, London, Milan, Paris and Cape Town plus everywhere else that have issues with black skin tones. Just because you only book a few of us doesn't mean you have the right to make us look ratchet.”
She shared a sentiment that we’re sure is felt by countless other Black models in the fashion industry — that their appearance is seen as an obstacle rather than an asset.
“I’m tired of complaining about not getting book[ed] as a black model and I'm definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people, s**t we started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can't we be part of fashion fully and equally?”
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(Photo: Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty Images For IRC)