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Jourdan: Why are people afraid of my hair?

FashionBy Sunday World
Jourdan: Why are people afraid of my hair?

Jourdan Dunn is used to hairstylists pretending they're too busy to work with her at shows.

The 24-year-old model is pleased the fashion industry is becoming more inclusive in terms of race, but believes there is still a long way to go. For one thing, she finds many of those working behind the scenes don't know how to handle her hair.

"Despite the fact that it's 2015, there've been times where I've walked backstage at a catwalk show and hairstylists who are available [to prepare models for the show] turn their heads and act like they're busy," she told Stylist magazine. "It feel sh*t to be the girl that they avoid but it's because they aren't used to working with Afro hair, so they either don't understand it or are afraid of dealing with it."

Make-up can also be a problem for the star. She is the face of Maybelline cosmetics, which makes her proud because it can still be tough for black girls to book those kinds of campaigns, especially as just finding the right shade of foundation often poses a problem. In fact it's been so hard for Jourdan in the past that she's taken drastic steps to ensure she looks her best on the catwalk.

"I've experienced the same thing when it comes to cosmetics; I've been booked for a job and the make-up artists didn't have any shades to match my skin tone. I mean, come on! It's ridiculous," she said. "Black girls come in all sorts of different shades but the make-up artists would either have really dark to really light foundation, nothing in between. It would frustrate me so much... I realised pretty soon that I had to be prepared and take my own products with me on jobs; at one catwalk show the make-up artist actually walked in on me re-doing my face in the bathroom. It could have been really awkward but he understood."

Walking in shows is another issue for the star, who revealed that many black models don't bother going to Milan Fashion Week as they believe they won't get much work there.

Jourdan has learnt not to take losing jobs personally, but there are some things which irritate her. She's bored of hearing how great it is when "five black models" are in a runway show - pointing out that even so, there will have been many more white women walking.

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