Asian models and fashion go hand in hand, naturally. From bindis to bangles, mehndi to sandals. Everybody wants in on the Asian fashion styles. Sequins and crystals, leafy mango designs on sarees to shiny accessories which are for some, a daily uniform. The Asian style is seen to be very glamorous and exquisite, also adored and worn by many non-Asians too.
It seems as though we make the style, but are nowhere as much to be seen commercially, modelling it. Instead, we have non-Asian models, who are dolled up to look like us. With castings stating, 'you do not need to be Asian, just look a little ethnic', in turn meaning, as long as you have dark hair and eyes and slightly tanned skin, you'll do. So, if this is the case, why are the Asian models not taking over the mainstream scene or moving into other fields of modelling which are more commercially accredited?
Who is to blame, the models themselves, the clients or the people higher up in the industry who portray beauty to their own definitions. We have the 'classic beauty', we have the 'glamorous beauty' and then there is the 'structured beauty'. So, many different classifications of beauty, yet colour seems to be missing in the industry.
All in all, a lot of inspiration in style comes from us Asians, but not that many make it into the world of commercial fashion modelling? Why is it that Indian women still lack confidence to pursue their modelling careers, they so eagerly dream of, AND… Why is it that some Asian people would not be proud of such a career move, if not in fact, be insulted?
We seem to invent such fashion, yet take the backseat in gaining any credits for it, whether that be so, nationally or globally. Let's take Amy Winehouse as an example. The style of her long high-tipped eyeliner and big back-combed and ball-filled hair, originated from Indian actresses in Bollywood, many, many years ago. Though, many in this fashion and modelling industry, wouldn't have known that and label them styles to belong to Amy Winehouse, as her signature look.
We need to educate the media and such people who are making these big decisions, by showing them, Asian models can be creative, beautiful and have a whole different range of talent to show the world, on top of all the necessary beauty attributes we also carry.
It's all to do with mentality and knowledge. If we adapt to current times and see the positivity in such a field, people will slowly, but surely learn to understand and appreciate modelling, media and fashion as a colourful, respected and celebrated field.
To love the skin you wear, is the first step to being happy with yourself and your appearance. Be that one model amongst the rest, where you are the only coloured model present, enter competitions that no other Asian face has entered.
Be the first and you won't be the last. You have to take that chance and not worry about failing, because that is the worst that could happen and then what? You carry on, pick yourself back up and try again, until you succeed or are happy to have achieved what you set out to. Let's see the rest of 2011, to be the year that more Asian faces are seen within the mainstream fields. Set a goal and reach it. Hope to see you on the way up, until then appreciate and love your skin, love your colour and in return it'll love you.