Being a black model in the fashion industry!


Photographer Miami Model Fashion Swimsuit

Photographer: DioBurto Photography


I love the fashion industry, which is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue modeling, and to style photoshoots. After attending multiple shoots and casting I was made aware of a fact that I didn’t fully understand. There’s an obsession with skin tone and the European standard of beauty as well as unrealistic body expectations. I remember reading and hearing about these issues when I was younger and in 2017 they’re still happening.

Black models are still used as tokens in advertising, runway shows and beauty campaigns. There are underlying tones of racism that some choose to ignore for the sake of keeping things the way they are. Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and Tyson Beckford are superstars in the modeling and fashion industry but they are not the norm. I remember going to these major casting calls in South Florida and seeing majority of the models were white. Also, almost everyone involved in the selection process was white, and it seemed that no matter your talent level or how perfect your look was, I knew my chances were slim. I’ve heard designers say they’ve found one black girl and that they don’t need any more. Being a black model is challenging, shheeessshhh. You’re not competing with everyone there, you’re competing amongst yourselves. I understand that not every show or photoshoot has to be flooded with black models, but representation matters.

Now let’s talk about the fashion shows.

According to The Fashion Spot, “for the Fall 2016 season, we examined 312 shows and 8,727 model castings from New York, London, Paris and Milan. Less than 25 percent of the models cast were models of color. For all four cities combined, 75.25 percent of the models cast were white and 24.75 percent were models of color. This is a slight improvement from Spring 2016 which was 77.6 percent white and Fall 2015, which was 80 percent white”.

According to Essence Magazine, getting casted for the top runway shows isn’t the only challenge black models deal with. If they do become one of the few brown faces booked, they may encounter hairstylists and makeup artists who aren’t trained to work with kinkier hair textures or darker skin tones. As a professional hairstylist and makeup artist you should be trained to work with all ethnic groups.

My friends and family ask me why I’m not as active as I used to be as far as modeling. I still take on projects when something fun or interesting is brought to my attention but for most part I’ve slowed down. Outside of the issues of skin tone, hearing constant comments about my weight became irritating. It was frustrating hearing random people tell me to lose weight. Mind you I was about 120 at 5 feet 8. I worked out constantly and ate right, sort of, and kept my body toned. My agent wanted me to lose 10lbs because she said when I appeared a little curvy in my photos. I didn’t lose the weight. I was comfortable with my body and felt no reason to slim down even more! I am sorry but I wasn’t trying to disappear. I knew that there was a client out there that would appreciate my beauty and my 120-pound body.

Watch video below!

Even though there has been a slight gain, it’s clear the fashion industry has a long way to go on the road to equality

Please comment below!


25 Replies to “Being a black model in the fashion industry!”

  1. I love how objective you are. I really enjoyed reading every word you wrote, thank you for sharing!


  2. Shell says:

    I loved reading this because it’s wonderful today’s girls can see someone they can relate too,.. I am Hispanic and was one of the only darker skinned children in an all white elementary…. At that time most of the models were blond, blue eyed women who looked nothing at all like me… You are not only beautiful but you have a beautiful heart and are a wonderful role model for young girls …


    • Lory T says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m sure you went through a few challenges being in a predominately white school. I had to experience that in high school and trust me it was tough.


  3. Jane S. Susaeta says:

    hey you are lovely !!! I know racism still exist and happens to my race (Asian) also. It’s sad

    Jane @
    I blog about my journey to financial freedom and into meaningful living


  4. First of all, girl, you are GORG! You are total model status right there!! ❤ It always makes my heart hurt to know that racism still exists. It's 2017 already – people need to learn to love everyone!

    Talina @ Sassy & Dangerous


    • Lory T says:

      Thank you Talina. Sadly racism is still an issue. As much as I want everyone to love one another and get passed our skin tone, we have to realize that there are still people out there who has hate in their heart.


  5. Tia says:

    Wow. That’s out of control. All the more reason for us to have our own talent agencies, etc.


  6. I agree with you on so many levels. I can’t see a reason why black women should do modeling less then white women. We are all the same, don’t matter the skin colour. We are all beautiful.


  7. Renuka says:

    Stunning images….you really are very pretty.
    It was an interesting read, thanks for sharing


  8. eunoniablog says:

    You are so beautiful! Black girls rock👊


  9. Love that you’re addressing such an important issue. Keep on pushing through! Your photo is beautiful, btw 🙂


  10. Jojo Hua says:

    That’s so awesome that you’re a model. I think there is still a lot of work to be done to bring racism to an end. I am Oriental and I know also that racism still exists in this world. Eventually, I see a world where everyone comes together in unity, realising that we are all one and the same.


  11. Drake Conan says:

    You looks so gorgeous talina. I really enjoyed reading every word you wrote. Many really are now models that are dark and tall. almost all of the models. I love your perspective in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jassy says:

    Wow, amazing content. Love how you write! And you are so beautiful.


  13. I love reading your story, and your right about this things happening right now in the world. Racism must stop! and I’m so proud of you integrating and being strong despite of negative thoughts from other people.


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