The struggle that I have had as a model and why it's hard to come back
As I write this post this is a subject that I have been so nervous to talk about. There are tons of experiences that I have been through personally that I’m sure some of you may understand and others may not understand. You know what… that is completely fine I hope that I can help you get a better understanding of what happens in my world and why I feel the way that I do.
Ok… So most people that have followed me over the years know that I started modeling a while ago (13 years to be exact), and have seen me do runway shows, photo shoots, etc. About a year or 2 ago I slowly just stopped modeling and didn’t really care to get back in to it fully right a way. Currently I am still on the fence, even though I love it so much. People have asked me quite a bit recently why they haven’t really seen me model in shows and other things. I have never really given a straight answer, because most people that have asked I don’t think understand. The fact is as an African American Brown Skin woman I have never felt accepted or loved in the industry especially in the San Diego market. My journey as a model has been the hardest thing that I have ever been through. I have walked out of photo shoots and fashion shows in tears, and have never really told any one about how I was treated or how I have truly felt. I am not writing this to bash anyone I just want everyone to know that there is a serious problem and no one is talking about it.
One thing that I do know is that I am different. I have different hair, different features, different skin tone, and body shape. You have no idea how hard it is to explain your hair texture to someone who just doesn’t get it. I was almost always the last girl to get my hair and my makeup done before a show, because the stylists had to have a meeting on the side to “figure out what to do”. It honestly tore me apart every time, but I didn’t want to be rude. I just sat there and went through the torture of not knowing if my hair or makeup was going to look decent. Being the only black girl in a lot of shows early on was hard, and I didn’t really have anyone to relate to no one would understand if I said something. If anyone ever saw me running to the bathroom before I was rushed to hurry up and get dressed, it was because I looked a mess and tried to fix what I could. I learned how to do my own make up out of necessity and started bringing my own make up bag. There was a show that I was in one time where one of the make up artists straight up said to me “I can’t do your make up.” I don’t have your shade.” I wanted to scream!!! I handed her my makeup bag and said “that‘s ok, I have my own foundation.” She barely talked to me while she did my makeup. I didn’t feel welcomed in that space or in that show at all. I can count on one hand how may times my makeup actually looked amazing during a show or shoot. I don’t think that my hair was ever that great except for when I had a wig or weave. Hair is a whole different subject that I can talk about later. The education for stylists for both hair and makeup needs to be better!! Something needs to change. It just doesn’t make sense to me that make up artists and hair stylists don’t know or won’t go out and seek more education themselves when it comes to textures and tones.
I have so many stories and examples where I haven’t been treated very fairly as a model, but I don’t want to make this a super long post. I honestly just wanted start a dialogue and let people know that black women that are not light skinned in the fashion and beauty industry are not treated like we matter. Our beauty is often praised, but is not accepted (does that make sense?? Because it doesn’t). We need to be up lifted and not treated like a prop. With that said, I am not in a hurry to get all the way back in to modeling until I feel like I get the respect that I truly deserve. I have struggled and hustled to get my name out there, but I haven’t felt like any of my efforts have been acknowledge yet.