Societal standards on what beauty is supposed to look like have always been Euro-centric since the fashion and beauty industries were born.
These industries were designed this way in order to make people of color feel less than while the idea that svelte body types being the standard of beauty was recently adopted by western civilization because of the amount of weight loss and slimming products that can be sold to people insecure consumers.
What lies in the color of the skin when you have a beautiful mind and soul? Why is it that we judge a person, based on his/her skin color? The constant judgment based on the color of the skin is something that each one of us has faced, whether prominently or even as a victim!
But, this is a taboo and must be shunned at the earliest. We live in a world where our capabilities should not be judged by the color of our skin or the religion that we follow.
But, Deddeh Howard, a lifestyle, fashion, fitness and travel influencer, was very fascinated by fashion. She just did not like it when only fair models endorsed famous fashion brands. This is why she took the stand to make a resonating message to the world.
She undertook the project ‘Black Mirror’ under which she replaced herself with famous ‘fair’ models of the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Gisele Bundchen among others. The stunning photographs have been captured by Raffael Dickreuter.
People are no longer falling for the Okie-Doke and changing what was once the standard of beauty into something else that is far more realistic and inclusive of all different kinds of people.
With that being said, check out these fifteen fashion campaign ads reworked by people of color and normal body types.
1. For Vitoria’s Secret
Absolutely perfect recreation. I mean, does she look any less sexy? The oomph factor in her is giving us the feels!
The young lady on the left you might recognize as Gigi Hadid who’s gained a lot of popularity over the course of the past couple of years and the young lady on the right goes by the name of Deddeh Howard and is single-handedly shaking up the fashion realm.
From the looks of things, it doesn’t look like Deddeh is going to stop with this one photo series as she’s been quoted saying the following while speaking to media, “I’m going to keep speaking out for people and stand up for everybody. I just want people to know that no matter what I’m going to keep standing up for who I am… Thanks to everybody for helping me believe in myself and giving me the courage to share this.”
4. Dolce & Gabbana
Now, this is the amount of inspiration all of us need. Never to feel less of oneself.
5. David Yurman
Next up, is a David Yurman fashion campaign that centered Kate Moss and was reworked by Deddeh Howard. Since, the release of her ‘Black Mirror’ photo series, she’s been approached by a multitude of modeling agencies letting us know sometimes you gotta take control of your destiny and take things into your own hands in order to achieve your dreams.
6. Louis Vuitton
Deddeh Howard personally picked brands that she was connected to and admired herself in order to complete the project which took about three months to complete. Each shoot took a span of only five to ten minutes to shoot each, which is extremely quick if you’ve ever been on the set of a professional photo shoot.
Howard revealed that she held no personal feelings towards the actual models in her series but, to spread awareness that the fashion realm still to this day lacks diversity in their choice of models. Years of race-related modeling agency rejections and casting calls fueled Deddeh to take things into her own hands and curate this project that is now raising a lot of eyebrows not only in the fashion industry but, all of entertainment.
Although there some models like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, but they are generally perceived as an exception to the common rule.
Phew! So it’s important that we do not classify a separate set for the black race, instead make them the mainstream.
Deddeh Howard is doing her bit to make this change. Let us all also do our bits.
Deddeh Isn’t The Only One…
French fashion stylist, Nathalie Croquet, also decided to step in front of the camera, recreate sets from high-profile fashion campaign ads, and curate her own realism project entitled ‘Spoof’ with the help of photographer, Daniel Schweizer in order to empower women around the world.
We’ve all noticed the blatant discrimination from the fashion and cosmetic industries throughout the years but, what if brands decided to approach regular, everyday people? Personally, we’d think that their products would appeal to wider range of men and women in the world and more merchandise and products would be able sold.
Not To Mention…
Let’s not forget to mention the unrealistic depictions of male bodies as well throughout the fashion realm. There probably isn’t a man out there that doesn’t want rock hard abs and biceps that burst through their clothes, unfortunately, that’s just not reality.
This particular underwear recreation comes from the good brothers and sisters at Buzzfeed who also wanted to point out the unrealistic images of men in campaign ads. The models in these pictures participate in rigorous workout regimens and also have to stick to strict dietary limitations as well which isn’t something the average man doesn’t personally partake in creating a false narrative as to what real men look like.
Calvin Klein Pt. II
On a serious note ladies, would you want to be with a man that’s prettier than you? Studies have shown that women prefer to be with a man who’s less attractive than she is for sake of the security of their relationship. We’re sure most of you wouldn’t turn down one night with David Beckham though.
The young lady on the right is a fashion model by the name of Winnie Harlow, who just so happens to suffer from the skin pigmentation disease known as vitiligo. Her bold display of her disease and her willingness to combat bullies has earned her an opportunity to become the model of the year, an honor that doesn’t present itself to people with diseases or disabilities. Representation is important, don’t let these false narratives and unrealistic expectations get you down. We all have something to offer the world no matter if our physical appearances fit the social construct or not.
Here is more of the stupendous work that she is doing, directly from her Instagram handle.
Gosh! She looks just so mesmerizing.
She tells about her journey:
To be honest, I battled with my own body image for years. I used to tell myself; You can’t wear shorts, swimwear or anything strapless. And all of a sudden I was like, What if I just didn’t send such negative messages to my brain and said, wear it and enjoy it? And now I’m more comfortable with or without clothes than ever. I stopped complaining, bringing myself down and put in the work.
Now, I feel like, I work way too much on my self and body to be unappreciative of it. #selflove #blackgirlmagic #bodyimage