My Girl, She Bengali
In an attempt to make the fashion world a more inclusive environment I've decided to focus my collaboration work on showcasing and empowering other women of colour.
About a week ago I had the pleasure of shooting one of my faves again - @mishti.rahman. We came together to fuse our creativity and produce the following imagery. Modelling and makeup by Mishti, shot and styled by me.
Mishti is a model and influencer, born and raised in Australia, Bengali by background. I told her about my objective - to shine a light on more women of colour by collaborating with them and adding to their portfolio - and she had some saddening yet unsurprising insights to contribute on the matter from her personal experience.
Despite how stunning Mishti clearly is (And don't anyone dare add "for an -insert race here-" like I've heard too many times before), she's run into hurdles being booked for modelling jobs due to her ethnicity. I know from my own personal experience, especially in the commercial/ fast fashion industry, that this is a very real problem that many models of colour will face.. to the point that a lot of girls won't even bother getting into the industry because they don't see it as a possibility to pursue.. and thus a vicious cycle begins (or in this case continues). Just open a couple online stores and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I'd love to go on and highlight why this issue is so important to me personally but I think it deserves its own post. I also want to acknowledge that this issue has different levels for different ethnic groups and skin colours as well as give a s/o to all the bodies that don't fit what the fashion industry often dictates as "normal" or "acceptable".
So for now, all I'm asking of anyone who might want to know more...(whether you're brown/black/white/asian/whatever) is just to start noticing and being present to the faces you see and in what context you see them.
Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.