I was watching this talk online about the modeling industry, and the speaker (model Cameron Russel) mentioned how a student went to fashion show and made a note of how many of the runway models were non-white: “out of the 677 models that were hired, only 27 (less than 4%) were non-white”. –> cameron’s talk (2:30)
It made me think about how white skin is seen as the norm in society, especially in the music and media industries. Obviously there are POC in these types of industries who are extremely successful (Rihanna, Alessia Cara etc.), but it can’t be ignored that being white sells better. How can this problem be solved for non-white people? Whitewashing of course- what better way to isolate ethnic minorities even more than they already have been!
Whitewashing has become normal in the media industry. Although people are disgusted by it, the issue still remains. What I don’t understand is why someone would feel the need to alter someones skin colour just because they think they will get more sales. And it is so annoying!! People come in a lot of different shapes, colours and sizes. There is no need to generalise and feed into a stupid stereotype.
An example of blatant whitewashing is Calum Hood, who is in a band called 5 Seconds of Summer. He is the only non-white member in the band (being 1/2 Maori and 1/2 Scottish). What does this mean? It means that in basically every band photo he is whitewashed so he appears as pale as his bandmates. Here are some examples (he is the black haired one):
I feel like people do call out magazines and companies etc. for whitewashing, but then nothing ever gets done about it. It is just one of those things that is a huge problem that everybody sees, but nothing ever gets done. If you see a magazine that has somebody visibly whitewashed on it, don’t buy it. Tell other people not to buy it. Tweet about it. These companies will stop whitewashing once they realise just how many people are actively opposed to what they are doing.
I just thought I would put my opinion out there-I would like to to think that everybody has the choice to embrace their ethnicity and celebrate being a person of colour rather than suppressing it because of deep rooted problems ingrained in society. Deep!!