Television network BET just released a new series about racism in the fashion industry. One of the series' featured voices, Leomie Anderson, has been extremely vocal about the issues she's experienced in her 11-year-career as an in-demand model. In one clip from Black Like Me, Leomie describes an experience where she waited three hours to meet with casting agents, only to be told: "sorry, we're not looking for any African people." This is a story Leomie has told before , and one of the many events that encouraged her to launch LAAP, a feminist brand that challenges racial and patriarchal structures with bold graphic tees and sweaters.
The new BET series comes at a time when Black models have increasingly begun to speak out on the industry's documented patterns of racial discrimination, without fear that it will have harmful affects on their careers. Veteran fashion models Bethann Hardison, Naomi Campbell , Iman , and more have used their platforms to stress the necessity for major changes in the way black beauty is appreciated and represented in fashion. Together the three women have spoken out numerous times about racial discrimination and served as watchdogs for brands nor appropriately representing the diverse makeup of women.
With the creation of Black Like Me, BET has given a platform to a new generation of black models speaking out against issues that not only affect those working in the fashion industry, but the everyday people fashion images influence.