Models come in all shades of the rainbow.
Supermodel Tyra Banks recently said that she is trying to expand the idea of what the fashion industry considers beautiful. According to her, s with lighter skin are deemed more commercial, whereas darker-skinned black models are considered more high fashion.
Miss Banks is on to something here. If you turn on the television and watch the R&B and hip hop videos you’ll notice that the majority of the women in these videos are light-skinned. Dark skinned women are featured as well in music videos, but to get the same kind of attention that their counterparts get they much be well endowed. Now, turn to a major television network and you’ll see commercials with spokes models such as Beyonce, Rihanna, and Halle Berry representing major cosmetic lines.
I’m going with the facts. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, but it is what it is.
It’s Fashion Week in New York City and on the runaways are Jourdan Dunn, Selita Ebanks, and Arlenis Sosa. These are the light skinned models that get booked by all the top designers. The only dark skinned model burning up the runaway that is in heavy rotation is Alek Wek and the designers love her because her skin is flawless. More recently, she has become an entrepreneur and sells beautiful high-end purses.
There is a pattern here…
Maxim recently released its annual “Hot 100” list and only seven black women made it. Rihanna broke the top 10 at number eight. Zoe Saldana, Ciara, Beyonce and Christina Milian were numbers 29, 32, 52, and 55 respectively. Gabrielle Union and Michelle Obama, who are darker than the other women, came in at 71 and 93 much lower on the list.
Here’s some more proof!
Ida Ljungqvist was crowned Playmate of the Year and she is the first African-European to hold that title. She to is light skinned.
Men’s magazines such as XXL and King are both targeted to black men and they mainly feature light skinned models. Occasionally they feature dark skinned models but they tend to either be famous or well endowed.
Tyra Banks says she makes it a point to showcase beautiful dark skinned women on America’s Next Top Model. She feels that it is important to let all of the young girls growing up know that Black is Beautiful and it comes in a variety of shades.
While the old stereotype of light skinned is perceived better than dark skinned is not going away anytime soon, it is important to be confident in the skin that you are in.
Just like full figured models are no longer taboo in the fashion industry, dark skinned models will continue to knock down the doors until this becomes mainstream.
Famous dark skinned bald headed Supermodel Alek Wek is known for her smooth dark skin. Designers love her and she was sought after by many because she makes the clothes look fabulous. Not only is she gorgeous she also has a line of handbags out. To take a peek at her career click here
A complete list of the “Hot 100” list top can be found at