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#iSTANDfor: Diversity!

 

By Kaye Li Taylor
 

We all love variety and we often talk about “mixing things up.”  But not everyone understands that what’s truly worth celebrating is our individuality and our differences.  It’s our uniqueness; the things that set me apart from the stranger siting next to me on the train, that’s really worth celebrating. Whether it’s my chocolate brown skin or her beautiful long blonde hair, or his sexual preference. Our un-likeness should be celebrated not criticized.

Working as a model, I have experienced the harsh realities of the fashion industry’s lack of diversity. Time-and-again, I’ve gone to castings not even to be given a chance to see the director or to get in front of the camera. “We’re not casting Black girls today,” I’m told like there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the statement! In any other industry, that would be illegal. That would be called discrimination. I could take the prospective employer to court. But not in fashion, where it’s somehow accepted as OK.

One organization working to bring public attention to this very prevalent problem, is Balance Diversity, an initiative by my heroes, the iconic Black models Naomi Campbell, Bethann Hardison, and Iman. 

Balance Diversiy is lobbying the heads of global fashion houses, modeling agencies, and other industry powerhouses calling on them to:

1.   Recognize that a lack of diversity is an issue within the Fashion Industry
2.   Offer solutions to help eradicate this problem

The objective of the Balance Diversity is to, “make a shift on how the model of color is viewed” and “…encourage the industry to be inclusive of racial diversity.”

Humbly but firmly stand with me. Say yes to Diversity! Say yes to acceptance! Say yes to a variety of beauty! www.kayelitaylor.com