Where Are All the Indian Models?
There has been a major hurdle in the road due to me being hospitalised. Nothing serious but the knock on effect has pushed everything back i.e. the photoshoot and everything there after.
Not to worry. New dates to be proposed and hopefully third times the charm, as the saying goes. Again more time to plan and finalise the finer details to make the shoot more efficient. Got to be positive. Otherwise I will just quit and that is not an option I am willing to embrace. I am a natural fighter and I will find a way to make this work. Time is money and patience is a virtue, add any other appropriate sayings if you will.
Aside from the photoshoot I have been thinking about other aspects of the business. Visual appearance, statements for the website, creating more drawings. Which led me to dig my old Vogue magazines out and pull out pages featuring women of colour. Aside from the obvious lack of equality of different ethnicities being represented in comparison to white models another issue struck me, where are the Indian models?
This struck an obvious cord with me as part of my ethnic mix is of Indian heritage. The whole point of the brand and the art work created is to celebrate women of colour on a canvas - the t-shirt. However as the creator, who is seeking inspiration from said publication is not finding a similar face in which to draw from literally, then there is a problem. This led me to flick through my other magazines, of which I have hoards, that are more 'arty' and would expect much more diversity but still none or limited. Why are Indian women not being included in any these magazines? Maybe I need to buy some newer copies?
There are huge Asian communities dotted all over the UK, where is the representation? Yes, there are huge industries such as Bollywood that surpass Hollywood but this is not the same as walking down the road and looking up at a billboard or casually flicking through a magazine from western mainstream media. Now some of you might be thinking what about Neelam Gill? Sure she's definitely out there in terms of exposure but aside from Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai, how many other prolific Indian models are being included on various platforms and how often? Is tokenism rearing its ugly head again?
This will be the same for other ethnic groups too. Women of Arabic decent, Native American, Maouri to name but a few. Where is there representation, their role models?
So the brain is ticking, thinking of reasons as to why this maybe the case...is it a colonial issue? Is Indian culture not seen as cool, although it does get appropriated by the fashion industry, so maybe not? But then that is only at its own convenience. Maybe the culture is not mainstream enough?
Who knows? But I have decided to investigate .
I am going to pen a letter to various magazines asking what their take on it is, which may be the catalyst for a new set of work in various forms; we will see as the idea is in its infancy. But I am genuinely interested to know why there is such a lack of representation. And if history has taught us anything, no change comes about from being silent but by standing up and questioning when something is wrong. Not that I am on a one woman mission to change the face of the fashion world, I mean, look how long it has taken for other ethnic minorities to be showcased, but the point is to highlight it. Even if it is for my own personal journey and creative output.
Let's see what the outcome is...