Iman and Joan Smalls Discuss Being Black Women In The Modeling Industry At Essence Festival
Cameron Johnson

Essence Fashion House: Iman and Joan Smalls Keep It Real About Being Black Women in The Modeling Industry

Empowering words from two icons. 
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Legendary model and one of ESSENCE’s July/August cover starsm Iman shared the stage with Dominican beauty Joan Smalls to discuss what it’s like being a Black woman in the world of modeling.

The pair spoke candidly about fighting to receive equal pay for jobs and having to work twice as hard as their white counterparts to book the most coveted gigs.

“As Black women we don’t want a seat at the table, we want to own the whole table!”

Both shared their frustrations in feeling marginalized as Black woman in an industry that often undervalues us. The pair admitted to standing firm and turning down jobs due to racist encounters with designers.

Iman so graciously reminded the audience,”As Black women we don’t want a seat at the table, we want to own the whole table!”

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