Fashion Show Forces Black Models To Perpetuate “Angry” Stereotype

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(via thegrio.com) – When Rick Owens held his Paris Fashion Week show featuring “angry models,” most of whom were black, he was hailed as a genius by many for his Spring 2014 runway presentation. But some saw the menacing scowls on the black women who modeled his collection as a stereotyping affront to African-Americans, and a weak attempt at fashion diversity. Now, one of the black women who danced in Owens’ industrial chic-meets-athletic garb showcase is speaking out. And she says the “angry” faces were forced on them.

“It was a struggle, certainly,” show performer Arin Lawrence explained to Buzzfeed. ”We were all told, you have to make these faces. To be honest, it was one of the most frustrating things because as step teams, we just don’t make ‘grit faces,’” as they are called within the step dance community. “It’s not that we’re skipping around wide-eyed and smiling, because there’s a serious element to stepping. It’s not meant to be giddy, and not to be taken as a joke. But, again, we’re not angry and we’re not trying to scare people in the audience or anything like that, so constant and consistent pressure to make weird faces was tough.”

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