VS Model Devon Windsor Criticized For Comparing Racism In Fashion To Struggle To Be Blonde
As if it’s not hard enough being a woman of color in this country, it’s often even harder to explain that struggle to people who have the privilege of not facing similar obstacles. And what makes that so difficult is when those people choose not to be open-minded and instead, would rather hear themselves talk and pretend they have gone through similar things. The reminder of how frustrating that is recently came from E!’s new reality show, Model Squad. During a recent episode, models Shanina Shaik, Grace Mahary and Ping Hue were discussing issues of diversity in the fashion industry, and how they were finally seeing more plus-size women and girls of color getting gigs.
“I used to get bullied,” Shaik shared. “Because of my skin color, I wasn’t gonna be able to do high fashion. A lot of Black girls would have to miss Milan because they weren’t going to be able to walk in the shows because they don’t want girls of that color.”
As the women talked, Victoria’s Secret model Devon Windsor and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo just sat quiet. When Hue said that the conversation probably was too hard to relate to, Windsor refuted that and shared her own story of struggle. But her version involved booking so many gigs that allowed her to live all over the world.
“I literally f–king went through hell and literally lived in different countries like every other month, and didn’t speak that language,” she said. “Didn’t speak Paris, didn’t speak Italian. And I did that for like two years.”
Hue responded by saying, “I don’t think you can relate to the turmoils of being different.”
Again, Windsor said that was a false assumption.
“You know how hard it is to be blonde?” she responded. “I have to get a highlight every month!”
The women of color on the show didn’t find her comments funny, and as it turns out, neither did all of social media. The kickback was quick, and now Windsor is apologizing, claiming her statements about being a blonde were just jokes. As she put it, “I made a comment in jest to infuse levity and I feel terrible that I have hurt others. I’m even more disappointed that my comments could lead anyone to believe that I have a prejudicial bias.”
She continued, “I respect, honor and admire all of those breaking barriers and working to forge a new and inclusive community both in and outside of the modeling industry.”
She also received love from Culpo, her co-star, who backed up Windsor’s statement that the conversation was heavily edited to create drama and that she’s actually a good person.
That’s nice, but can anyone explain the fact that she doesn’t speak “Paris”?