“Something that always bothered me when you see these amazing images is that very rarely you ever see a black woman on them.” – Deddeh Howard.
In our modern world, it’s quite striking to see the industries of fashion, modelling and media continuing to lack diversity from the types of women representing the biggest brands. Model Deddeh Howard’s project ‘Black Mirror’ has recently brought our attention to this very problem. With so much potential still around for the modelling and advertising industries, it’s rather surprising that few people are willing to grab the opportunity.
In terms of equality, we’ve come a long way. Howard reminds us just how far we’ve yet to go in order to understand and objectively accept the vast spectrum of beauty and her work is truly inspirational.
Howard has brought a breath of fresh air to mainstream model imagery, recreating a David Yurman campaign. This features Kate Moss, one of the world’s most famous fashion models. The act of replacing a white model seen here, has refreshed the sophistication of the ad, showing that the model’s skin colour is really not a central factor.
It essentially becomes a game of ‘spot the difference’ as Howard draws our attention to just how powerful these well-known advertising campaigns continue to be with a black model at its centre; she brings just as much sass, style and female power as Hadid in the original.
Yet again, Howard places herself in the position of a white female model, showing just as much beauty and sophistication. By drawing on these similarities, Howard highlights a fundamental flaw underlying the beauty and fashion industries.
Deddeh Howard has opened our eyes to the scope of potential that we’ve yet to master. We don’t realise how restrictive the world continues to be. Despite the progress and modernity, Howard depicts just how much beauty and reality we’re ignoring in a world bombarded with model imagery.