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Discussion in 'Rumor has it...' started by Echoes, May 23, 2009.
glad to see that coz Brazillian fashion shows r scarily white which is strange considering the enormous black population. IMO the popularity of the more caucasian models like Carol Trentini and Raquel Zimmerman has also had an immense effect home
I like this idea yet I think it could keep very good models who aren't black from walking.
^I doubt it. It's not like white models are better than black models and therefore walk more shows - they walk more shows because black models simply aren't hired because casting directors and designers don't think they sell well. So many mediocre models are being casted instead of black models, and there are A LOT of gorgeous black models who never get to do runway.
Any quota is a bad thing. It is, and always has been, the wrong way to address an issue
oh i don't know, i think quotas do work to an extent - it's not like affirmative action where they can pull out a resume and compare diplomas, degrees and qualifications...
Its always been subjective when it comes to models, and if black models get a chance and clients react positively it could definitely have a longer lasting legacy, ie a cycle of positive affirmation where they seen good reaction, so are more likely to hire more black models...which makes black models more of the norm and less of an exception, and so forth.
all in all i see this as a good gesture, and a sign of a serious attempt by the Brazilian fashion industry.
what wouldn't work would be say, having just the one black model who is the token non-caucasian. So imo, quotas (whether it's positive discrimmination or not) >>> Tokenism or completely not having black models.
i'm all for it!
Mis-managed, quotas can be worse than the original problem, so they'll have to be careful how they do it if they want it to be successful.
But then again, doing nothing hasn't really helped yet.
For one, unlike Affirm Action, modeling for the most part is about the outside and not the talent that is hidden underneath.
Even more so, A designer may have a "Look", audience, and niche that they like. While their may be some "skills" such as walk, grace, presence, a heavy portion of modeling is about a look.
All quotas do is promote forced regulation, creates underlying dissent, and takes away from the actual attributes of those promoted. Those aided only got their "because of x" in the views of most, and as well, it is only a band-aid that NEVER addresses the core problem.
Quotas are Affirmative Action. There only difference is the former has a defined number associated with it. If anything these programs help very few and the problems worsen for the majority.
There is no such thing as "positive discrimination" Discrimination is wrong on ANY level.
^Sometimes you just have to choose between positive and negative discrimination, because there is no third alternative and therefore no other way to address the problem. Oh well.
So what if the majority of models being hired finally faces some competition? Most of them only work because they have blonde hair and blue eyes anyway, and that is not enough to make an interesting model in my book.
There is always a choice. Always an alternative. As I have heard told, if you are stuck with only two alternatives, you have not fully examined the issue.
In another thread, it is argued that commercialism is destroying fashion, that the need to produce a full collection every season robs the artist of their inspiration, and forces them to produce when they have not fully been inspired.
So on one level we consider these designers artists who are inspired and bring forth beauty... Yet on another, we force them to display their art, to to their "show", their "runway" in which they tailor music, flow, ambiance and try to present their vision as they feel it is best suited, yet we desire to force upon them to stuff their creations onto frames not as their choosing?
And there also lies a distinction in your own statement... INTERESTING.
Who said a model had to be interesting? The 90s showed a trend in fashion and rebuke to the super models the emerged in the 80s and all of the sudden some people were going for "fresh" or "new" or "different".
Does that make it any "better"?
I would also disagree that this "creates competition" Does the hiring practices of Affirmative Action create "better employees"? Does it create more competition and skilled candidates for a job? Or has it not in essences DILUTED competition by reserving slots for those who are hired for purely governmental reasons? While this may create diversity, it really in essence does not "improve" the conditions or skills of the class being promoted, if anything it provides a crutch that says they do not have to be as skilled.
Is there anything that says that these decisions are purely made about look? Perhaps the famed "runway walk" also comes into play. If you want to improve the number of models then improve those models themselves, whether it is through training, promotion, or here is a shocker... empowering designers to flow forth for whom those other models fit the look.
Discrimination is discrimination. There is no benefit the reverse discrimination, if anything it is hypocritical by nature. One cannot condemn an action as wrong and promote the EXACT SAME ACTION as right by only changing the participants.
Discrimination: treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.
No matter what adjective or goal you add to the word, the root is inflexible.
Errrm ... I do thing that black models do not get as many CAMPAIGNS as models from other races in Brazil ... (Colcci are you listening?) THOUGH I think this quota is kinda stupid ... I always see Brazil's cultural diversity reflected on the models .. SPFW even had a show paying respects to the asian migration!!!!!
Very good posts, designerleather.
One thing that has not been mentioned is that the best regulations are quite clear. Clear rules can make it much easier to comply, because businesses know what they need to do. The less discretion an authority has, the more likely it will be to carry out the intent of the law fairly.
These rules are quite arbitrary because they deal with race which is for all intents and purposes an arbitrary cultural construct. Our definitions for races come from cultural ideas, not from a scientific basis. So how will they enforce a law based on these ideas? Will models that have some african or amerindian blood, but look "white" be counted? Will models that look the right ethnicity but are "white" be counted? I don't really want to get into a discussion of race, but just want to emphasize that this law covers a very gray area, especially in Brazil.
Also apologies to any who may have taken my passionate words as anything other than a strong opinion about a subject. I started thinking the other day that while this site has 99% of the discussions in English, if not more, the actual make up of the participants have a differing native tongue, this combined with the fact that words are only 10% of communication, and body language and tonality which make up the rest are absent, it is always easy to misread posts.
This topic can also be a very personal issue to some, and as such often can be more closely linked to identity. Criticism and discussion thereby sometimes unintentionally strikes far closer to home than intended. Abstract concepts to one can be more personable to another.
Ngolf also raises a great points. I will not dive deeply into this matter, but know of one person for example who is championed as black, when in fact two other races comprise 50% and 44% of their makeup. Where is the line drawn, as well as where should others really fall. Popularity and desired outcome can often warp the true reality.
The issue is confounding, any law or quota your bring forth generally only complicates things with the exception of the simplest one... race shall not be considered and enforcing anti-discriminatory practices.
The issue is also not easy because race and identity is often linked. This is the biggest irony of all. Whether the image has positive or negative connotations, it is often embraced and thrust to the forefront. This duality creates an unresolvable conflict.
The larger point here as well though, what is a model? Is it just a face? Some have said that it comes down to blonde hair and blue eyes, but I think of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Ines, Yasmeen Ghauri... As much as there are Claudia Schiffers, out there... what about the Gia Carangis of the world as well.
We see shows like ________ Next Top Model, Make me a Supermodel, and most recently I watched The Model Agent. Some of the contestants were there because they had a different look. Some were there because they had classic beauty. But in all of these contests there is a strong set of factors that are undeniable:
1) Does the camera like them?
2) Can they walk?
3) Can they bring out the beauty of their clothes?
4) Can they find the range of emotion that is needed?
5) Do they have presence to capture attention?
While models do have a face, and generally a beauty to them it is also clear that some of what I consider to being strikingly beautiful took awful pictures that were empty and unimaginative. Others just bounced on the runway, looked pained or out of place, and some were just evident that it was not more experience was needed, they just did not have it.
I do understand some of the underlying meaning of what many see as a positive and away to supposedly speed a perceived equality, but in an area where indeed talent and intangibles do count, the forcing of arbitrary quotas I believe also has a perceivable detrimental effect, which is negative reinforcement. Those that get there, that only do so to reach a certain number are then forced to shine on a stage with those who are perhaps, and more likely, there because of these factors. So a danger that I would raise to some of those who support such measures, that those who are thrust in to the light, juxtaposed against the professional and talented, might further suffer reinforcement by the spotlight that they do not deserve to be on the stage.
The makeup of a true model does entail far more than eyes, face, hair and height. Other wise the job of finding models would simply be hanging out in malls and coffee shops and should be simple... Yet from what I have seen, it really involves weeding through thousands, and sometimes stripping away layers and what at first may seem like a diamond turns out to be quartz, and what once was just a whim all of the sudden is the shining star.
But why pick on modelling why don't they force, gardeners, taxi drivers, politicians, teachers plumbers to have an distribution equal to that of the population?
Does the government or body who is making this regulation have a porportionate to the population ethnic mix?
That would be my first question?
models are such an easy target, what about the designers themselves, do those who are showing acurately reflect the population?
There is a false supposition that demanding for more non-white models on runways will cause “professional and talented” white models to lose valuable jobs. Another false supposition is that the non-white models who will be brought in are not as talented as their white counterparts. I have been very careful with my choice of words; your suppositions are not substantiated by facts and statistics. You compare this to Affirmative Action, but that is like comparing apples to oranges. Sure they are fruit, but that is about it. Demanding for more non-white models is not law. And where AA is law, employers and other recruiters are still not readily and wholeheartedly welcoming non-white individuals and therefore not abiding by the law:
Um thankfully nowadays society doesn't (most of the time) blatantly discriminate against races to not allow blacks or any other race to become a gardner, etc. Those jobs are completely different from modelling. Anyways I agree with The_Ida. Like she said, doing nothing is not going to solve the problem although it's sad that it had to come to this.
Professional and talented? Are you kidding me? Didn't know modeling was a talent, all it requires is, to put it simply, a pretty face (and that's not even the case anymore) and a thin figure. Anyways, most working models today (white, black, whatever) are neither attractive, professional or talented.
so those of you who moan about an ACTUAL change to increase visibility of black models, what is your solution? or does the absence of black models mean they aren't good enough?
Brazil has millions of people( whom the majority are of color)therefore we should assume, that there is a higher ratio of capable models who happen to all be non black?
Black models are innately not good enough since there is no discrimination? or I am missing something?
I wonder what the reaction would be if there were 0 euro-pheno type models in Brazil fashion week? would we here the same justifications these time around( it's normal since the majority of the population isn't white)
The wording is a problem. No one likes the word "quota." It reduces the person to a mere statistic, and then it appears to others that this person has no qualifications when in fact they might.
I think it might be more accurate to say that Brazil has agreed to begin to reflect the diversity of their population on the runway. Given the fact that fashion promotes and validates a particular standard of beauty and status, I think this move is definitely positive.