In an airy white blouse, art gallery owner Dasha Zhukova poses serenely on a chair, in a photograph taken for a Russian fashion website. The only problem: the chair is fashioned from a contorted lifelike mannequin of a black woman, sparking an internet outcry and allegations of racism. It did not help matters that the photograph of Zhukova — a Russian socialite and the girlfriend of oligarch Roman Abramovich — was published on Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday in the US. The picture was widely condemned by bloggers and internet users, and has since been removed from Duma's Instagram feed.
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I know that the beauty industry has fueled this opinion with its long history of presenting lighter, mixed-race or white models as the beauty standard. And this is why, when Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign , I jumped. Having the opportunity to represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand felt like the perfect way for me to remind the world that we are here, we are beautiful, and more importantly, we are valued. I went online and discovered I had become the unwitting poster child for racist advertising. No lie. I had been excited to be a part of the commercial and promote the strength and beauty of my race, so for it to be met with widespread outrage was upsetting.
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Last week, we explored how the way that our society views Black girls as more mature and less innocent than their white peers may allow predators such as R. Kelly to exploit them. Research has shown that Black girls are viewed through a hypersexual lens — and as a result, are less likely to be believed when they report sexual assault. This begs the question: where exactly does this belief stem from, and how can we combat it? Like many issues involving race in our country, the view of Black women and girls as hypersexual has its roots in racism.
By Jon Levine. February 15, pm Updated February 17, am. Lefevre, who has been modeling for four years and appeared on more than two dozen catwalks, said she is no stranger to industry bigotry but had never experienced anything as bad as the FIT fashion event on Feb. I could not control my emotions. My whole body was shaking. Lefevre ultimately walked the runaway, but without wearing the ears or the bright-red synthetic lips, which came from a sex toy. She stormed out of the event immediately afterward.