Two weeks ago, Nykhor Paul joined the chorus of black models exposing inequality in the fashion industry by sharing her struggles on Instagram.
The 25-year-old asked, "Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don't have to do anything but show up?"
Read the full letter below:
Dear white people in the fashion world! Please don't take this the wrong way but it's time you people get your shit right when it comes to our complexion! Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don't have to do anything but show up wtf! Don't try to make me feel bad because I am blue black its 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup forever, Iman cosmetic, black opal, even Lancôme and Clinique carried them plus so much more. there's so much options our there for dark skin tones today. A good makeup artist would come prepare and do there research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing it's insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn't help, seriously! Make an effort at least! That goes for NYC, London, Milan, Paris and Cape Town plus everywhere else that have issues with black skin tones. Just because you only book a few of us doesn't mean you have the right to make us look ratchet. I'm tired of complaining about not getting book as a black model and I'm definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people, shit we started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can't we be part of fashion fully and equally?
But while the post received a huge amount of support for speaking out about undercover racism, many users also labelled Paul racist herself.
The model took to Instagram again earlier this week to address the issue with another inspiring open letter, below:
Dear white people in the fashion world! All women are beautiful in their own skin whether you are black, white, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian. Beauty is diverse and it deserved to be appreciated and honored by true artist who are free of prejudice or racism. I am not a racist, I am a human being expressing herself about the lack of diversity in the fashion world. Black models have never been a priority in this industry and they never will be if we don't addressed the root causes. Clearly there is a serious issue facing our world and we as a people are choosing to hide from the truth. We are a society that is too sensitive to the truth but we are hurting and have been for generations. You can't speak your mind as a black person without someone labeling you as an angry black woman, I mean how would white women feels if every time they tried to speak what's happening to them someone calls them names? How would a white girl feel to walk in my shoes as a blue black African girl in this western world? Learn to handle the truth without using racism as an escape goat every time so we can have a healthy dialogue about us and the issues facing us today. I am a child of Africa with many shades of darkness and have no hate for another human being in this world because I was raise to love all things life under God light. I am blue black and proud of it, I am beautiful in my own skin no matter how dark and scary people might feel around me. Embrace your blackness!!! #RefugeeGirl #SouthSudan #WeAreNilotic #Modellife #NiloticQueen #NiloticGirl #BlueBlack #Akobogirl #BlackModelsRock #Africangirlsrock #BlackBird #BeautyandPeace #WalkingArt #Africanstakingover #onepeople #onetribe #OneAfrica #ILOVEAFRICA. @marieclairesa
"As a blogger, I'm frequently invited to new product launches, only to arrive and find that they don't have any of the darker shades available! Which means I have to make a special request to the PR or the brand itself to see the shade at a later date." she said.
"Its frustrating and annoying and leaves me feeling excluded from the very industry I'm passionate about."
In her second post, Paul writes that "Beauty is diverse and it deserved (sic) to be appreciated and honored" - and we think the fashion industry needs to take note.