British model Jourdan Dunn has spoken out about getting paid less than white models such as Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss despite doing the same work.
The 30-year-old, who was discovered in a Primark store when she was 15, has expressed her belief that she received less money for her work because of her ‘skin tone’.
Speaking on the podcast TTYA Talks, Dunn explained how she worked alongside ‘best friends’ Delevigne and Kloss in the industry and knew their daily rates were different to hers, ‘even though [they] were doing the same jobs.’
Dunn described the disparity as ‘so f*cked up’, adding: ‘Like what is the difference? But clearly the difference is the skin tone.’
Having acknowledged the unjust treatment, the model said that she is now focused on ‘owning your voice and knowing your worth,’ explaining: ‘Now I know my worth and I’m going to ask for it.’
During the interview, Dunn went on to describe how she looked up to former Victoria’s Secret model Chanel Iman during her years in the industry due to the way she held her own at fashion shows, The Independent reports.
Dunn recalled how Chanel would ‘say if she didn’t like something with her hair and make-up’ backstage, whereas Dunn would ‘normally just hold it in and then be in the bathroom and try to change it as I didn’t want to offend anyone.’
She continued: ‘But seeing her do that, I realised at the end of the day I am a brand and I need to look a certain way and I need to make sure I look good in a way that’s not disrespectful.’
Now that she is in position to be given more creative direction on fashion shoots, Dunn does her bit to encourage diversity by making sure to bring on ‘Black young creatives’.
Last week, model Kukua Williams wrote in Vogue that ‘every Black model has their breaking point,’ and noted that while the fashion industry is ‘becoming more inclusive – in front of the lens, at least,’ the progression has its limitations, and therefore there needs to be ‘greater transparency around issues of racism’ as well as global solidarity.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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