Model Deddeh Howard sends diversity message by recreating famous photo shoots

Deddeh Howard

Model Deddeh Howard has found a powerful way of highlighting the lack of diversity in her industry.

She’s recreated famous models’ photo shoots from recent advertising campaigns by putting herself in the place of the white models which they feature.

She’s called the project Black Mirror, saying: “I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen.”

Deddeh says the project “would help all of us believing in our potential”.


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 What do you mean you already have 2 to 5 black models that looks like me? Did you say the same thing to the 50-100 white models you already have? If @kendalljenner can do it, so can me or any other race!! Here is my prof, so open your eyes and see that Fashion is not black or white! Life is not black or white. I’m just like her. #blackmirror #blackmodelsmatter Right guys? Photo credit: @raffaelphoto_com Makeup and hair by: @dgbyjd Hair by: @melissahoylehair

Deddeh, who is originally from Liberia, wrote on her website: “When growing up as a girl I always wondered, why the big brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Guess and many others rarely seem to use a black model?”

She went on to say that only a small group of black models make the cut.

“There are Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and maybe Iman, but they are the exception to the rule.”

 Growing up in Africa, I knew nothing about Black and White, we’re all equal, it was United we stand! At least that’s what my parents thought me and that’s what I believe in. I believe we can be whoever we want to be, so don’t let anyone tell you’re not what you want to be. If they can do it! So can you. It’s about time we stand up together..Dream and Believe. I’m personally fighting for more diversity especially more black models to be seen on bill boards, movies, TV commercials, advertisements etc for us all. #blackmirrow. Full Article now on the blog at www.secretofdd.com ( line in bio). Photo credit: @raffaelphoto_com Makeup and hair by: @dgbyjd Hair by: @melissahoylehair

“Black girls are almost invisible in the fashion industry. There is the odd one here and there, but it always feels like an afterthought.”

 Answer to your questions: #blackmirror ; The two images all being shown together should really show that we all have a place, that we all belong and should be visible!! Thanks for all the love 😘 Photo credit @raffaelphoto_com Makeup and hair by: @dgbyjd Hair by: @melissahoylehair

She says that the modern world isn’t being reflected in many advert campaigns and that large fashion outlets are to blame.

“We live in a globalised world nowadays with many interracial couples producing mixed babies.

“Why can’t the big brands not embrace our diversity more and give all of us visibility?”

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 #blackmirror Not to long ago it happened to me that I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black model that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model. Besides having an abundance of white models. It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all. When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre. Check out my full story now on the blog at www.secretofdd.com or link in bio. I’ve been working on this project for a while, for the sake of our new generation. A Call For Diversity!. Photo credit: @raffaelphoto_com , Makeup by: @dgbyjd Hair by: @melissahoylehair BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL

And Deddeh stressed how strongly she feels about the issue of representation in the media.

“The visibility on these commercials and billboards matter as much as having elected a first black president.

“The next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too.

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 Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything! Stand up and make progress!!#blackmirror Thanks to @raffaelphoto_com @donlemast1 and @kiwiindianmotorcycles #blackmirrorchallenge

“For that reason diversity in ad campaigns is, in my opinion, much more important than you might think.”

She said that often modelling agencies would tell her that “I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, [but] they already have a black model”.

“It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all.

“When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre.”

Source: BBC News

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