October 3, 2014

Does Up-and-Coming Model With Unusual Skin Condition Take Us Beyond Diversity?

“There’s No Barbie with Vitiligo.”

— Chantelle Brown-Young, from Will model Chantelle Brown-Young redefine what it means to be beautiful? (Globe and Mail.)

•  How much is Ms. Brown-Young’s condition, as a beauty signature, a metaphor for an increasingly multi-racial America?  Or, how much is it beyond race and about not getting hung up over categories?  Or, how much is it about another type of “trans-identity?” Or, how much is it about affliction? (It is technically a disease.)  Or, how much is it about tolerance? Or, how much is it more singly about “the other?”

• Just talking photo-processing — because we know the fashion industry takes full liberty — it’s interesting how the Globe Style magazine has bronzed up Ms. Brown-Young’s skin color and also toned down the pigment contrast. (You can better appreciate how she looks and how her vitiligo presents — in fashion shows, at least — from the photos accompanying the.) If she’s being hailed as a model of difference and/or acceptance here, it’s also interesting how the photoshopping — otherwise standard practice in the business — seems more political.

(photo: Globe and Mail/Twitter)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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