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2016-02-29

How to survive as a black model

British model Leomie Anderson’s new video aims to ensure new models are fully equipped for an unprepared industry

After calling out one make-up artist’s lack of suitable products for non-white models at a show during New York Fashion Week, British model Leomie Anderson sparked widespread debate on the state of diversity in the fashion industry during show season and beyond.

Now, instead of leaving the string of tweets in isolation, Anderson has followed up her comments with a YouTube tutorial aiming to help other fledgling models who find themselves in a similar situation. Outlining the many times she’s been expected to walk the runway wearing a face of make-up not suitable for her skin tone, Anderson namechecks the products that help her avoid embarrassment at the hands of inexperienced hair and beauty teams.

“As you may or may not know, being a black model is just extra hard. There’s extra work, there are extra things involved,” she begins, going on to recount her experiences in which she’s ended up sparring with backstage teams over their use of preferred products. Reeling off a list of items including nude thongs, hair oil and edge control, Anderson also suggests tips in dealing with hair and make-up artists without offending them by implying that they can’t do their jobs.

Ultimately, Anderson’s video does more than simply provide insight into how much more effort black models need to put into their profession (that is just simply not required by their white counterparts). By speaking out on these important issues, Anderson is exposing the fact that, despite steps being taken towards a more inclusive industry, a lack of diversity still permeates every corner of fashion.