I have always been fascinated by the world of fashion. Growing up I realised that fashion is not a world in itself but lives in society and is made by society.
When for my thesis I dealt with the issue of racial discrimination deriving from the colour of the skin, a question from the examining commission made me reflect: but in Africa, there is no problem of race since they are all black, right?
Unfortunately, this is not the case and the phenomenon also has a name: Colourism.
Basically, it means that among people with black skin tone, the darker the skin the more it is discriminated against. So the answer to the previous question is no, the problem of skin colour exists even among black people. The clearer the skin tone, the more privileges it will ensure.
We are once again within the dialectic of white colonizer and powerful and black colonised and marginalised.
Taking a look at the fashion system, the February cover of Vogue UK was striking. British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful talked about “redefining what it is to be a fashion model”. The statement and the image are very powerful.
The lack of ethnic variety among the models on the catwalk has finally been recognised. On the cover of the most influential fashion magazine, it was given wide space to a generation of models of African descent whose complexion has never been appreciated. Redefining the concept of modelling means opening up to new options and possibilities, where beauty is not just the white skin colour.
As I hinted in another post, “An open door” while working on the proposal of a magazine cover that would enhance the beauty of a non-white skin colour, I received a disappointing and unwilling response, which was “Vogue readers could not understand”. Maybe it really would have been like that a few years ago, but now readers are aware of the reality that surrounds them and are fighting for equal rights.
The message that this cover carries with it is that an elite magazine like Vogue is able to communicate the need for change and to open up to a wider audience that can be freely identified with the image that appears on the February cover.