Sa'iyda Shabazz
December 03, 2016 3:27 pm
duckieofficial/Instagram

At this point it’s well known that being a woman of color in the modeling industry is hard. Trying to find your place in an industry that creates a beauty standard that doesn’t include you is not easy. This week there was a lot of praise for the black models who wore their natural hair at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. In the midst of that conversation, former Australia’s Next Top Model contestant Duckie Thot posted an Instagram comment about the challenges that she faces as a model of color. The post mainly focuses on the decision to wear her natural hair in a recent photoshoot.

The post has gotten over 17,000 likes and over 1,200 comments since it was posted and has gone viral. Australian company Dinosaur Designs asked Thot to wear her natural hair. Because of previously negative experiences (she mentions having to cornrow her own hair during her Top Model run because none of the hairstylists knew how) she was understandably hesitant. Eventually, at the urging of her agent she agreed.

The photoshoot and Thot’s natural hair came under a bit of apparent shade from fellow model Winnie Harlow. In a Snapchat post, Harlow posted a picture from the Dinosaur Designs shoot captioned “LMFAO WHAT ARE THOOOOSEEEEE.” Thot does also address Harlow’s words in the post. “It’s not fun being bullied for something you can’t control and to have a top model woman of color who I thought encouraged acceptance and self love call me out for rocking my natural hair, isn’t cool at all,”

While Thot does mention one instance of the challenges she faces in the fashion industry, that barely scratches the surface. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue she goes into more details about her struggles. “Believe it or not, a lot of the time makeup artists or even hair stylists, they’ve never worked with a girl with my complexion or hair texture. I do my part to make sure they properly do theirs,” she explained.

And she’s not the first to do so either. Model Jourdan Dunn recently tweeted about the struggles models face with inadequately prepared stylists

Victoria’s Secret model Leomi Anderson tweeted a similar frustration.

But despite all of the negativity, Thot remains positive that the industry can move past this. “By constantly challenging and pushing at [these discrepancies] I hope we will eventually make a difference.” Hear, here, Duckie.

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