I watched a documentary called Flawed Beauty, it’s about how despite the fact that the majority of the population of Brazil is non-white, the modeling industry is majority white. Models like Gisele Bundchen and Alessandra Ambrosio are two of the most notable Brazilian models. However, Brazil has the second largest Black population on the planet, they are only outnumbered by Nigeria. The south is mostly where the European-descended whites live, the other areas of Brazil are either Black or mixed. The history of Brazil is such that most of the population is mixed with African, European (Portuguese mostly) and Amerindian. During the slave trade, 5 million Africans were brought to Brazil and the Portuguese who colonized Brazil intermixed with their African slaves.
In the film, Aline, is an Afro-Brazilian girl who goes to Sao Paulo to audition for a modeling agency and it is clear that she is one of the darker models there. The rest of the models are all blonde, brunette and pale-skinned. The Black models are not given the same opportunities as the white models because, as one Afro-Brazilian model said, “they are not what the world wants to project.”
I don’t even think someone who looks like Adriana Lima (who has a Afro-Brazilian grandmother) is the common look that they want projected for Brazil. She is only an 1/8 Black at the most and you don’t even really see many Brazilian models who look like her!
Despite, the majority racially mixed population, Brazil is still very racially divided, like the United States. The Black models have to have their own, smaller modeling scouts to even get a chance at modeling. If you watch the documentary, even within the Black modeling agency, many are light-skinned. You can tell they’re Afro-mixed, but they are light-skinned. It appears that the darkest Brazilian women really aren’t even seen in the Black modeling agencies. It is absurd to me that an industry can be so racist. The majority of the Brazilian population is non-white, but they’re not seen at all in the modeling industry. This mentality is replicated on a world-wide scale. On a world-wide scale, Black beauty is seen as tainted and unappealing.
It breaks my heart that little Black girls cannot see their images appreciated and valued the way that little white girls can. Why is it that Black beauty is not appreciated on a world-wide scale? How is it that everyone seems to have it in their head that Black isn’t beautiful?
I understand that everyone has their own taste, but some people really do seem to think Black is inherently ugly. How can someone truly look at this Afro-Brazilian woman and say she’s ugly?
There are so many beautiful Black women, dark-skinned Black women and light-skinned Black women, but Black beauty is not valued and it seems the darker a Black woman is the less chance she has of being accepted within the dominant ideals of Beauty. I know I always say that Blacks should start their own modeling agencies and I am a firm believing in Blacks having our own…but damn sometimes it hurts to see the discrimination that Black women face and it hurts that Black beauty is so devalued on a global scale.
Watch the Video: