South Sudanese Model Rips ‘Racist’ Fashion Industry

Nykhor Paul’s cup runneth over with regard to how dark-brown models are treated.

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Nykhor Paul

Instagram

Nykhor Paul—a South Sudanese model who has graced the campaigns of Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Diane von Furstenburg and the like—took to Instagram Monday to give the fashion industry a piece of her mind about the "ratchet" ways in which dark-brown models are treated in the industry. 

Paul made it very clear to whom she was directing her ire, kicking off her post ever so ceremoniously with the introduction, "Dear white people in the fashion world!"

"Please don't take this the wrong way, but it's time you people get your [s--t] right when it comes to our complexion!" Paul continued, going on to reference her dark-chocolate complexion that, yes, is a rarity in high-end fashion shows and campaigns, but, Paul argued, shouldn't be treated as an inconvenience nonetheless.

"Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don't have to do anything but show up? Wtf! Don't try to make me feel bad because I am blue black," Paul wrote.

"[I]ts 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup Forever, Iman Cosmetic, Black Opal—even Lancôme and Clinique carry them, plus so much more," Paul said.

Paul said that makeup artists who go on to apologize for not being prepared to work with dark-chocolate complexions are not making the situation any better, and should instead be prepared to work with a variety of skin hues. 

"Stop apologizing; it's insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn't help, seriously! Make an effort at least! That goes for NYC, London, Milan, Paris and Cape Town, plus everywhere else that have issues with black skin tones."

It's an issue that supermodels Naomi Campbell and Iman have been advocating for years: that the fashion industry needs to do better and hire more black models. 

"I'm tired of complaining about not getting booked as a black model and I'm definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!!" Paul wrote.

Paul ended her rant by touting Africa's contributions to fashion, and how it's not given its due credit. 

"We started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can't we be part of fashion fully and equally?"