Why are there so few black models in Australian Media?
I’m tired of looking for them like nits with a fine toothed comb, we exist so why aren’t we being represented?
Is it a lack of resources, are there actually no ethnic models to choose from? I pose that question halfheartedly because I can’t count how many strikingly beautiful and eager faces I’ve seen in and around The City. Very few if any are approached by modelling scouts or make it through casting, I myself can vouch on how difficult it is.
In 2010 I was taken to a modelling agency that a (black) friend was successfully signed to. i had just placed second princess/third place in a Miss Africa Victoria beauty pageant a few weeks earlier and she was confident that her Bookers would love me more importantly, be able to get me work. Upon meeting them They lacked enthusiasm , were rude and wanted me to pay more than a months rent to create a snippet of online presence. I was frustrated, annoyed, surprised and it was evident that they were injecting all their effort in a model they’d “discovered” and is now based in L.A. ,so much so that They were ignoring talent that was right in front of them ready to be nurtured. I didn’t take it personally and although I didn’t (couldn’t) pay their fees I continued to go to them with pictures from shoots and runways to show them my craft. When I told them that I’d gotten myself into the Ruby Rose Milk and Honey -Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Finale show and their response was “She got her friends in that show didn’t she?”…that would be the last time I allowed them to blow me off and angry and Saddened by their lack of vision and evident greed (or lack there of ) I decided to tackle the modelling industry on my own.
So I pose, after 3years, a question that doesn’t make sense. I know that there is a need and i know that the resources exist. Australia is riding a wave that came through and existed globally in the 70s or 80s , the wave of blatant racism in fashion. You excotify and target people of colour. Paul Mooney said that “Everybody wants to be a nigger but no-one wants to be a nigger” and It couldn’t be more true that! On the daily White Australia and Society emulate and portray swag, being hood/dope/cool, “bling” , black mannerisms, spit Nicki Minaj - mumble Ebonics yet they “aren’t allowed” / can’t even say the first word of Kanye and Jay Zs platinum hit “People” in Paris”. You’ve stolen so much from our culture and when We want to take control, empower ,represent and get a stake in what’s rightfully ours you tell us we don’t fit the mould. No matter what your story is for being here or how you got here it wasn’t easy, everyone’s paid their dues in different and complex ways, I personally know I wasn’t forced to leave the comfort of “The Motherland” to emancipate myself and then be told I’m not good enough. I don’t want to fit the mould nor do I know anyone that’s striving to- I didnt come here to be basic.
Misrepresenting your society is just as bad as saying that a demographic doesn’t exist. I don’t want to go to fashion shows and see ONLY white models. We need to see a change in every facet more black, disabled, unique ,cultural and gender diverse role models in media and the workplace. This is, after all the one of most culturally diverse city and liveable cities in the world. *Laughs*, Talk about misleading advertising.