Miami Swim Week has been praised for its inclusivity, with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit show including a Paralympic athlete and breastfeeding mom in its diverse cast.
But one runway show may not tell the whole story. As Racked reports, model Joia Talbott claims that she and other black models were turned away from a casting call during Miami Swim Week. According to Talbott, the rejection was due to their race and, in some cases, Afro hairstyles.
Talbott and fellow model Ka-Cey posted a video about their experience, saying that they and “10, 15 other black models were dismissed from a casting today because they told us they didn’t want any more black models, and that Afros were a no-no.
“They [were] definitely not feeling my Afro at all, so I didn’t stand a chance, right?” Talbott continued. “Wow. We’re ready to go back to L.A. where we’re appreciated, and we book.”
“Somebody tell Miami that there’s no such thing as too much brown skin,” Ka-Cey added.
Talbott claims that the casting agents — whose agency is not named in her posts — told the group that the casting was closed. When the women moved out of the line, the casting resumed.
From magazine covers to runway shows, the fashion industry has long struggled with representation. Black women have also been shamed for sporting natural hairstyles, with model Salem Mitchell recently calling out Vogue commenters who dubbed her braids “ghetto.”
Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Talbott for comment.
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