Multiracial Women Only

Kanye West is someone who is constantly challenging himself to new levels of creativity. It is now common knowledge that Kanye has embarked the mission to make a stance in the fashion industry.  His latest line ‘Yeezy Season 4’ has already stirred up some controversy. Early in the month, Kanye posted a casting call for models that were specifically looking for “multiracial women”. This took social media by storm and caused an immediate backlash. Many criticized Kanye for this choice since this was a clear act of colorism to the eyes of many.

While Kanye is known for controversies, I personally believe he really put his foot in his mouth this time. This ‘simple’ comment shows how prejudice the fashion industry is, even with designers of color, and that there is a clear preference for models of a lighter skin tone.

In a general point of view, women in the fashion industry have high demands to look a specific way as it is. Furthermore, adding the struggle to have a certain skin tone, something no one can change, is absolutely ridiculous.

Kanye is not the first designer to request a specific skin color for his runway. Many other designers (intentionally or unintentionally) have chosen white or light skin tones for their runways. According to Connie Wang, Rei Kawakubo, an internationally recognized designer, has not casted a single black model in over 10 years. The runway has lately been criticized for being too white, and this causes awareness to have representation within the industry.

The media has enforced such a strict criteria for what is considered beautiful that it has manipulated the self-esteem of many girls. When the media only flashes images of a certain body type, skin type, hair type, etc. this leads to the questioning of average and real girls if they are beautiful enough.

Now, it is hard to say if Kanye said this with the intent of truly only wanting a specific skin tone in his show, or because he had a word blurb and really wanted his show to be diverse. Whichever the case is, I think his statement truly helped spark a needed conversation about diversity in the runway. Representation in the media, this case in the fashion industry, is extremely important for the development of pre-teens and teens. These girls need to know that they are beautiful just the way they are and have to stop comparing themselves to ridiculous beauty standards.