Society cannot and will not accept multiple successful black women

The media plays a huge role in the colorism controversy. It has not only dehumanized the Black community but it gives the impression that there can be only one successful Black woman in a particular field.

In the interview, Banks mentioned that modeling is extremely competitive and has a top 10. “There's an unwritten rule that only one of them can be Black,” Banks said.

Two iconic Black models were pitted against each other for six years. When Tyra Banks was a teen, she idolized Naomi Campbell. Therefore, when Banks entered the modeling industry, she expected a warm welcome from Campbell, who was the only other high-profile Black model at the time. However, the media set them against each other by suggesting there could only be one Black model in the industry before they could even meet. In an episode of "The Tyra Show," both models openly discussed their concerns about each other and their apparent rivalry after years of controversy.

The media didn't allow two black models to be in the news spotlight, but desired to create a feud between them. Viewers encouraged the public fallout between the two, suggesting that Banks was the new and improved Black model because she was lighter than Campbell. This example highlights a light- vs. dark-skinned dynamic in the fashion industry and mainstream media. It illustrates that society cannot and will not accept multiple successful Black women on a single stage. It also reiterates that society prefers lighter-skinned women compared to darker-skinned women. 

"Most of our competitors were fair-skinned. Most of Miss America's and Miss Universe's competitors had blond hair. Being young I wanted to look like that because that is what a winner looked like." 

—Gianni Pettis-Wilson

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