It’s undeniable – 27 year old Deddeh Howard is absolutely beautiful, and her modeling skills slay. She’s born in Liberia but is based out of L.A nowadays, where she works as a blogger and a model.
It’s hard to be a black model in the industry with sufficient role models and inspiration, since there’s such frequent racism in the industry.
Modeling since a teen, Howard faces rejection on a regular basis due to the color of her skin. She was compared to models like Iman and Naomi Campbell, the main black models that managed to break into the mainstream.
She was sick of being compared to white girls that she thought others found to be more beautiful, as well as being compared to the only black models that people knew enough about to draw reference to. Understandably, Howard was annoyed about being represented by one person and being told she looked like them just because of her race.
Deddeh was also frustrated with seeing so many white models casted by huge brands like Chanel, putting models like the Hadids, Kate Moss, and other Caucasian models at the forefront. So she responded to it with a project called “Black Mirror”
The project was inspired by the world’s recent climate and a need for positive celebration around African-Americans. Well, her photo recreations of famous photoshoots with white models definitely speak a thousand words and are a powerful plea towards more inclusion in various industries, especially in entertainment.
Her boyfriend helped take the pictures and the flawlessness of the recreation are pretty baffling. She shows the industry that black girls can look just as fierce as white girls in a whole range of campaigns! (pointed burn at VS who repeatedly casts the same black girl, Howard points out.)
She wanted to prove to the world “the way she curves her body, I can curve my body the exact same way.” There’s no difference that makes her less talented to these girls, and the fashion world should pay attention to that.
As with anything posted on the internet that is exposed to trolls, she’s had some negative feedback. But mostly the response has been very positive, with a whole diverse group of women showering her with respect and admiration!
She hopes her project will help black girls be more confident, and feel less shy about embarking on a journey into the industry. This girl sounds like a warrior, and an incredible role model in the making herself!