Have any of you have ever gone on an audition of some sort and got rejected because you were black? Well, this happens very often in the modeling industry as there just isn’t a desire for too much color. Getting tired of seeing a lack of diversity in the modeling world, Deddeh Howard (@secretofdd) decided that it was up to her to shake things up a little bit, so she started her #BlackMirrorProject
The #BlackMirrorProject consists of Deddeh recreating poses by some of the world’s top models as a way to show that black girls can do it to! She’s gone viral as many women, and men, identify with her struggle to be included in an industry that isn’t so accepting of people of color. I got a chance to speak with her regarding the very moment she decided to create her #BlackMirrorProject as well as what else she has done to bring awareness to the lack of diversity in the modeling industry.
Talia O: What prompted you to create the Black Mirror project? Was it because you were rejected by an agency or did something else happen?
Deddeh: “When browsing through magazines I always felt It was really rare that I would spot a girl that looked like me. All advertisements from all the the big brands seemed to look pretty much the same, which over time appeared more and more bizarre. When visiting agencies a while back they would tell me ‘We love your look, but we already have one or two black models on the roster’ in contrast to 50-100 white models. We live in a diverse world and it would be great if the big brands give inspiration to all of us out there.
In the end I dont want to complain, because this is not an attack on white models. I just wish everybody could have a shot to show what they can do and that’s what I tried to do on this project with photographer Raffael Dickreuter. Let’s show the world what we can do and see what happens!”
Talia O: Did you think your pictures would go viral?
Deddeh: Not at all. It seemed like a great challenge when we started. Raffael Dickreuter said, “We will put you head to head with the world’s biggest stars in fashion. You are one of the few that can pull this off and not look out of place.” That was a scary thought. He believed I could do it and I am glad he trusted me. We shot this with very limited resources, after all.”
Talia O: How has the reception of your project been?
Deddeh: “It has been unbelievable. I went literally viral around the world in 48 hours and got covered by so many major news outlets! It was also great to just receive many messages from especially women who identified with the project and it seemed to have touch many people around the world. It is just amazing and beyond anything I thought it could achieve.”
Talia O: What do you think must happen in order to bring awareness to the issue of colorism in the modeling industry? What else, besides your Black Mirror Project, do you plan to do?
Deddeh: “As for the fashion industry, I think that more people need to show what they can do and more people need to speak up. It will take all of us to be inclusive. I am excited for what hopefully is coming!”
As we have reported to you guys, Marvel announced that the next Iron Man is going to be a black woman, so Deddeh did another project highlighting what that could look like. You can check it out at SecretOfDD.Com!
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!
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Kyle Anfernee is the youngest out of The Shade Room Crew. Kyle is currently finishing his bachelors at Pepperdine University, and is expected to graduate this April with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Kyle joined TSR back in October as an Intern, and has since been added to the team. Watch out for Kyle because he's on track to be the next Terrence Jenkins for sure!