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TARRICE LOVE SPEAKS

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"AS A BLACK FASHION photographer, I don't think people realize how much pressure we are under to NOT work with black models. The industry is constantly telling us that black models are NOT fashion and that they are commercial and to focus on working with the mostly white ones if we want credibility and prestige. I have constantly been pressured to conform to this idea."

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The insanely talented shutterbug Tarrice Love writes about the prejudice facing black models in the fashion industry.

I wondered how models who weren't of the Caucasian persuasion fared here in Blighty. Urban Shotz Photography, a friend of ka-ostheory, is well known for working with new, upcoming black models. The photographer has built up a solid reputation amongst models for his work. I asked him what he thought about Love's article - and if the UK fashion industry was as unforgiving to black models as the US seems to be. "I have long been an admirer of Tarrice's work and I can understand what he is saying," Urban Shotz tells me. "When I was starting out I was encouraged by an agency to work with white women rather than black men if I wanted to become successful. On the rare occasions a black man is used in an advertising campaign, he often has to conform to a non-threatening 'Gap advert' stereotype."

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It's difficult to contemplate. Shawn Sutton, Marcus Lloyd, Oraine Barrett, Wendell Lissimore, Anthony Gallo, Cortland Anderson, Dominique Hollington, and, of course Tyson Beckford. You may not be familiar with all the names, but I'm sure many of you reading this will know the faces of these strikingly beautiful (black) models. So Love's words come as a stark reminder: for some, black isn't beautiful.

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More of Tarrice Love's work after the jump (where you can also hear Tarrice talk about this subject too)...

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4 comments:

.::STELLA*DELLA::. said...

ITS REALLY A SHAME BUT BLACK JUST DOESNT CUT IT IN HIGH FASHION MUCH ANYMORE. CHANEL IMAN TRYING HER BEST AND SHES HALF BLACK BUT IDENTIFIES AS BLACK CAUSE THEY TELL HER SHE IS. MEANING THEM THE SHOW PEOPLE ...IF THEY SAY NO BLACKS THEN THEY DONT WANT HER. SHE TALKED ABOUT IT.

thegayte-keeper said...

So much needs to be done to bring an end to what is accepted and what is not...

Trojan Gayle said...

Its an age old problem on the representation of black imagery in society. Although many things have changed for the better, its clear that by this post that some things havent changed at all.

I've been watching the show make me a supermodel and based on the experiances of the two photographers, the black male model will have a touger time maintaining a career than his white counterparts.

I guess on the whole, people want to look at people to whom they can relate to. White people tend to look at other white people in this regard. This can be seen in many levels of the media (especially when its visual)

Garçon Stupide said...

Trojan - I've been watching Make Me A Supermodel too. Not my usual thing, I only tuned in 'cos Tyson Beckford hosts it. But I've been captivated by the awesome beauty of Sandhurst.

 
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