The lack of diversity in the fashion industry is a topic that has been discussed repeatedly over the years. Black models aren’t utilized nearly as much as they should be on the runway. Besides Vogue Italia’s occasional “Black issue”, they’re not featured as often in magazines as we would like to see either. What’s makes even less sense is the underrepresentation of black celebrities on fashion websites.
Unlike models, celebrities have the advantage of being more than just a pretty face to readers. They’re also popular on fashion blogs because of their sartorial choices on and off the red carpet. But black celebrities are featured a lot less often than their white counterparts. In fact, any coverage of a black celeb on a style website results in a slew of comments from readers. When Who What Wear Daily made Solange Knowles their “Girl of the Month” for May, readers congratulated the site on featuring a woman of color.
Reader Cookie wrote:
Yeah, that’s right…. put more women of color on the site! We make up a good chunk of your viewers and we simply love fashion.
Reader Amarie wrote:
i love www but i wish you featured more girls of color on the site. she’s not the only brown girl with style.
Amarie is right; Solange is far from the only celeb of color with fashion sense. From actresses to singers to reality television starlets, there certainly isn’t a shortage of stylish brown beauties to feature. So why are they being ignored by fashion sites?
Of course, fashion blogs can be counted on to feature Beyonce, Halle Berry, Rihanna and Zoe Saldana occasionally but covering a handful of black celebrities doesn’t make a site diverse.
While we don’t need to see black celebrities on fashion blogs to feel beautiful, what kind of message are fashion sites sending by not featuring more black women? Are we not stylish enough or do we have to look like the Beyonces and Halle Berrys of the world to be worthy of notice? I certainly know the answer to that question is hell no. But I’m not a young girl who’s going to go on TeenVogue.com or Fashionista.com, wonder why none of the celebrities look like me and start to think black celebrities are less fashionable or not as pretty.
Thankfully, sites like Coco and Crème and Fashion Bomb Daily feature stylish celebrities of color but it’s a little frustrating and incredibly sad that there has to be separate sites for something as light and frivolous as fashion.
— Olajuwon Ajayi