Racism has existed for a long time now. And despite all the events going on right now, nothing appears to truly be changing. The fashion industry is not out of reach as every now and then a big name reminds us just how real the epidemic is. This time, that big name is Marc Jacobs.
Releasing an uninspiring collection was not the only thing that got people talking about the designer. He came under fire for using dreads on white people. Looking at it rationally, dreads can be attributed to the black or coloured people. If Marc Jacobs was really trying to show cultural inclusion as he so rightly emphasised, why didn’t he use the right hair on the right colour ladies? I know that we are not defined by our hair but facts are facts and that should be respected.
Notwithstanding, we get the argument of using dreads as an aesthetic addition to the collection, but that will just be one-half of the aesthetics. After being criticised for this, the designer took the critique as expected by giving a not so convincing reason saying “…all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner, funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race — I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow-minded… Love is the answer.” I guess that answers it then.
First of all, did he just call issues of race and skin color nonsense? People have died for decades because of this so called ‘nonsense’. He may not have meant anything racist when he released the collection (emphasis on MAY) but the response was just a low blow. He even goes on to equate his actions to women straightening their hair, such effrontery and yet, there is not a single black model, which I am sure exist. Where is the love there?
There are numerous ways to deal with sensitive issues. One way to deal which would have worked is called ‘silence’. But he doesn’t know better. Is Marc justified for his reply or is he straight up wrong for using the white dread wearing models? Let us know your views.
Images: popularresistance.org, huffingtonpost.com, hairstylesbay.com, qz.com