Posts Tagged ‘multiculturalism’

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Fashion is often criticized for its lack of diversitywhether it be on the runways or off. That reputation is well-earned when considering the absence of people of non-European descent in the industry. Models are often an easy way to gauge race representation simply because the backgrounds and origins of the models are known and it is easily quantitative.

Considering the end of the year is approaching, every industry attempts to quantify its successes, failures and advances. In fashion, those lists consider the best looks of the year, the most notable moments, the best and worst trends, emerging talents and controversies. Recently, while stumbling upon one of these lists on Fashionista, the topic was diversity among Vogue cover models.

According to the site, “22 percent of Vogue cover subjects were non-white,” which only points to the fact that the other 78 percent were occupied by white models. And it gets worse: amongst the 22 percent, the majority were of non-European or American Vogue editions. Therefore, most non-white cover models were featured on their country’s editions of Vogue (India, China, Taiwan, etc.). Great.

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One of the things I’ve noticed in my years at Syracuse University thus far is that more and more students of Asian descent have been coming to our school. It’s interesting because I’ve heard that just six or seven years ago, Asians were a bit of a rarity at SU. Since our campus now promotes and literally displays diversity all around, I thought that many people would be more aware and open-minded of the multiculturalism on our campus. But I guess I was wrong.

Just this past weekend, I was walking with a couple of my Asian friends on Euclid when a, possibly intoxicated, group of Americans called out to us, automatically labeled us as “Chinese” and mimicked what Chinese people supposedly sound like. Note that this has happened MANY times, not just this past weekend. Most of the time, we just let it go because they’re an ignorant mess. But I thought it’s about time I stand up for myself and my other Asian friends on this campus and address these sorts of situations.

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