They are few and very far in-between for those in the beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries.
Finding a person who can do Black hair and makeup is equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack.
Here we have model Olivia Anakwe, who took to Instagram to voice her encounter backstage at Paris Fashion Week.
She writes, “this message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair.” She adds, “I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair.”
When Anakwe got backstage, she could find no one to do her cornrows. One woman’s attempt left the model with pulled edges. Teeming with frustration, Anakwe had to physically get up out of her seat and seek out someone who could possibly do them.
(View Anakwe's post on her Instagram page)
“After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist!
Anakwe then makes a great point, calling out a double standard. “Black hairstylist[s] are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class.”
The model continues on, expressing her feelings of being, well, pretty much neglected. “I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances.”
After all, “it’s 2019, it’s time to do better.”
Though fashion brands are getting much better with casting black models, they are desperately failing when it comes to being inclusive and hiring a team who is skilled enough to style textured hair. There, they are totally missing the mark.