It was a long journey for Ebonee Davis to become comfortable rocking her natural hair as a model.
When first starting out, Ebonee was told that the only black models that got booked were those who looked like they were “plucked from a remote village in Africa” or like a “white model dipped in chocolate.”
And with the recent displays of violence against black individuals, Ebonee is finally realizing why seeing black women in the fashion industry is more important than ever.
As artists in the fashion industry, we are the embodiment of free speech. We set the tone for society through the stories we tell—fashion, the gatekeeper of cool, decides and dictates what is beautiful and acceptable. And let me tell you, it is no longer acceptable for us to revel in black culture with no regard for the struggles facing the black community.
[Tweet “We sit in silence for fear of being labelled “a diva” while being inflicted with pain.”]
There is an outcry felt throughout the industry. From the disproportionately low number of models of color walking in the shows (blacks make up less than 10 percent of models on the runway; models of color make up 24.75 percent), to the lack of makeup artists trained to work on colored skin; from the mismatching of foundation to the burning and ripping out of hair. We sit in silence for fear of being labelled “a diva” while being inflicted with pain, or watching our faces turn grey.
She finishes her writing with a call to action: makeup artists should expand their repertoire and become more competent in working with a variety of skin tones; models and designers need to use their platforms to educate the public of the injustices; and most importantly, she asks readers to “love black people as much as you love black music and black culture.”
To read Ebonee’s full essay click here.