If you take a look around at the different sectors of life, you will see white people being in charge almost everywhere and a few black people surrounding the first. As if it wasn’t enough for black people to be judges based on their skin tone, they are also being judges based on how dark their skin is. Especially in the modeling world, designers will choose a few black girls, but not the ones who are dark-skinned. They probably think that they are not photogenic, but whatever they believe derives from a deep-rooted racism that they might not even know they had. So, the lack of dark-skinned models in the fashion industry made British photographer Cameron-James Wilson, who is also a digital artist, decided to create his own dark-skinned model and even created an Instagram account to feature her photos.
Her name is Shudu
The artist’s point of view
Wilson wanted to create a role model that can’t be found easily inside the fashion industry. Shudu represents what he had always thought as beautiful, but never actually saw around him.
We need to reconsider what we believe is beautiful
Shudu became very popular very fast, but when everyone found out that she is fake, many people criticised Wilson that he could have hired a real dark-skinned model to pose for him and not create a fake one.
Another woman accused him of taking advantage of a black woman in order to make money, but without having to pay an actual black model.
There were people that supported him and said that what he did was art and not racism. Yes, he is a while man, but he was inspired to create a role model that is nothing like him and give her a platform to spread her message.
Wilson’s answer to criticism
Wilson stays calm when it comes to his critics. His answer is very simple. He loves sci-fi, technolgy and games and Shudu is everything he is passionate about. He is glad that she has now become the face of empowerment and inclusivity.
Shudu is the model you will never see walking on the runway
Shudu has more that 60,000 followers on Instagram and all of her photos are so realistic that someone would think that they have been taken on a real studio. Liking or not Wilson’s idea, Shudu really is a role model, who represents inclusivity.