Kanye West raised ire when he posted a casting call for "multiracial women on" on Twitter last week. Thousands showed up to the open call in New York including some protestors. One woman, outraged by the call's language, showed up carrying a sign that read "'multiracial only' = lightskin only...you ain't slick, Ye" and "'we call them mutts' - Kanye West", a reference to a comment West made in a 2006 interview with ESSENCE.
The woman, who has not disclosed her name, held the sign topless with "they want black features but not black girls" written across her chest. Topless protests have occurred across the continent of Africa for decades, and she continues the tradition.
Yeezy Season 4 casting— Aquamarine✨ (@ladybreec) September 4, 2016
"they want black features not black girls" pic.twitter.com/0QFJfF4hPK
She released a statement on her protest via Instagram.
"This is an indictment of not just Yeezy but the entire fashion and beauty industry in which there is a racialized hierarchy of beauty which is a ubiquitous symptom of the legacy of colonialism," she explained. "Regardless of whether Yeezy does choose to include darkskinned women in the end, the coded language of the casting call was clear and a part of a broader problem of colorism in the fashion industry."
As a model, she says she feels particularly connected to the issue because the likelihood of being cast in any show decreases "depending on the deepness of the color of your skin."
She blasts the fetishization of mixed women. "The casting call for multiracial only...asserts that Black can only be beautiful when mixed with another race."
But she notes that this is all happening while Black women's features are celebrated on non-Black women. "It's just facts that Black women are constantly told they are too dark, lips too big, hair to ghetto for all professions," she pointed out. "Only to see these same features or styles on non-Black women receive praise-(braids, gap teeth)-obviously the problem isn't the style but the color of the women wearing it.
"The history of the world is written into Black features and we need to remind ourselves that beauty comes from our Blackness and not in spite of it."
She ends by underscoring the need break down oppression. "It's not just about fashion it's about understanding how racism, and white supremacy dictates our understanding of reality," she finished. "T hese are toxic ideologies need to be unlearned and #ITsAPROCESS."