challenging beauty norms and embracing natural beauty | inside the fashion industry

Leomie Anderson is the 24-year-old, international model and “age super for an Instagram generation". Walking catwalks in fashion capitals like - Paris, London and New York not to mention working with many big designers, like Moschino, Loewe and Topshop Unique. It's no doubt this model is rocking the industry by a storm. However, with the constant struggle of lack of diversity and underlying issues of racism in the industry, Leomie isn't afraid to speak up and has complained various times about makeup within the Industry. As in her experience artists where only capable of catering to white models, leaving women of darker skin tones having to apply their own makeup; almost shocking as I don’t understand how someone can be a makeup artist if they aren’t experienced with makeup for all skin tones. This experience however hasn’t belittled Leomie and instead of sweeping it under the carpet she has used her platform to speak up on these issues and how they have made her feel in the situation. It’s no doubt that the industry doesn’t understand what diversity is at times, so It’s extremely important that Leomie brought light to the difficulties she’s faced in the industry and how it isn’t always glitz and glamour. 
Leomie uses various platforms to share her thoughts, like her Instagram account (leomieanderson), and her website (, where she invites young creatives to share their own opinions and publish their articles. Articles include; Light skin privilege, cultural appropriate and body image. Touchy subjects that many people shy away from being educated on, even though it’s important that these issues need to be addressed, correctly. I find it inspiring that she has created this platform as it has the ability to educate and inform people who are seeking advice or want to be educate. 

2017 has seen the rise of south Sundanese model Duckie Thot. Formally a contestant on Australian’s Next Top Model. The head strong model isn't afraid to slam the industry when it comes to embracing her natural hair. Similar to Leomie, Duckie has also spoken up about the harsh realities of makeup artists and hair stylists in the industry - "'Being a black woman, we haven't really been taught how to take care of our natural hair — we've only been taught how to hide it. I think hair companies, the media, hairstylists, and the industry itself are to blame. She clapped back recently when fellow model Winnie Harlow, called her a cauliflower head" for wearing a natural ponytail in a Dinosaur Design fashion campaign. Urging Duckie to respond with a heart filled Instagram post, where she embraced her natural hair as well as struggles she has faced when on Australia's next top model. She told Teen Vogue that "First and foremost, hair is an accessory and doesn't define a woman,". Although many black women face several hardships when it comes to their natural hair, it’s inspiring seeing someone as young as Duckie embracing her roots and challenging typical beauty standards. I find it inspirational that Duckie has spoken up on her thoughts, as well as encourage other people who might lack confident wearing their natural hair to embrace it, as isn't usually visualized as beautiful in the industry. 

Rewinding it back to last year when the gorgeous Victoria Secret Model, Maria Borges made history but returning to the catwalk with natural hair. Alongside Herieth Paul, & Jourdana Elizabeth. If you're familiar with the show, many of the models that parade the catwalk are tall, skinny and have long flowing hair. However, Maria challenged this stereotype by not wearing any hair extensions and her short natural afro instead; and stated that it was the - "the sexiest moment of my life. I was very excited to share my hair with the world”.  A simple statement that inspired many people around the world, and it was so refreshing seeing it on such a popular catwalk show. 

Thanks for reading!
- Chrissy X 

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