BRITISH MODEL Leomie Anderson has written an open letter to her younger self where she warns her of some of the obstacles she would face, but also of the triumphs she would encounter.
“Dear 15-year-old me, I know that right now, your skin tone is not something the beauty industry is interested in catering to,” the Victoria’s Secret beauty starts her letter published on Elle. “When you go to your local Boots or Superdrug, you stand idly by as your friends swatch foundations and purchase their £6 concealers, something you cannot do – and not because your mum said you’re not allowed, but because there’s nothing available in your shade.”
The 24-year-old talks about taking part in “your first proper Fashion Week” and coming face-to-face with the “struggles” of your skin tone.
“There will be professional make-up artists who claim to have been working for 20 years who will make you look grey on the runway.”
But she says there is light in the future, which comes from an “explosion” of diversity online.
“In general, though, you can look forward to a great explosion online for the black make-up community,” she writes. “You will be able to watch other amazing black women give tutorials and advice on how they perfect their make-up; you will even see some of these faces in big campaigns, encouraging make-up diversity.
“You will have friends the same shade as you winning make-up contracts with huge brands and you will feel that, finally, girls like us are being represented within the beauty industry, even if it’s just a few.”
She said with all the work that had been done to champion diversity in the fashion industry, she hoped that when “our younger cousins get to 15, they will have a better chance of finding products in their shade when they go shopping with their friends after school”.
She added: “There is still a way to go in the representation of darker skin tones within the fashion industry, but, trust me, things will be a lot better than they are now for you and girls like us.”