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to create “The Black Model Survival Kit” to help others navigate the backstage landscape. “It can be such a stressful environment for Black models, when we sit in a hair and makeup chair we never know what we are going to receive. You might not get someone who has shades for our skin.
“The reason I created the video was because of an experience I had backstage. A makeup artist had all her foundations lined up, maybe 30 of them, but just one brown shade. She was literally trying to mix it with a white girl shade, and I said, ‘That is not going to make the melanin appear.’ Luckily, I had my makeup bag with me, so instead of me getting angry, I said, ‘OK, cool. This is what I use for my concealer, this is what I use for my color correct…’ and I basically took her through the steps of how to do my makeup.”
Hair is an equally chaotic experience. “Even though we [Black models] have things like wigs and weaves, they [white stylists] are still trying to catch up. They don’t get that putting water in Black hair will have the reverse reaction — it’s not going to slick it back.” At 17, she even confronted a stylist about using a water-based gel on her hair while in Milan, and he called her a bitch, saying, “I can end your career in two minutes.”
If anything, she’s learned how to get her point across while still being diplomatic. “I try to represent our interest as Black models and Black women, however I know that you can’t bring up designers' names or pinpoint certain individuals. Those are the things that can get you blacklisted in the industry. You don’t want brands to feel like, ‘Oh, if something goes wrong Leomie is going to go ham on Twitter.’ I do realize that people are looking at me almost as a spokeswoman for Black models and the way they are treated. Other girls will come up to me like, ‘Hey, I know you are doing this interview on Monday... make sure you talk about X, Y, Z.'
“That’s just the role I’ve taken within the industry. It’s not something that I asked for, but it’s something that I feel I can do. I am a good public speaker, and I’m passionate about these issues. I try to speak on everyone’s behalf to make it better.”
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Source : https://www.bet.com/style/beauty/2018/03/13/BlackLikeMe1.html