We are more than the superficial characteristics of our person, but everywhere we look someone is finding a way to bring attention to things that trouble them and become a leader in their own right, by being he solution to their issue. (in theory it sounds good…. but is that what’s happening?) This is wonderful in opportunity but futile in circumstance, because how and why we do something, is just as important as “What” we are doing… to make a difference. Anger, fear, rejection and depression are negative emotions that fuel us for a second or two, but will not keep us going long enough to see a positive change. Strike your goals under creating an understanding for “ALL” and it’s okay to represent a small targeted audience, but make sure you have their permission. When three (3) or more touc and agree, in a positive light… we are unstoppable.
In recent times albinism is being brought to the forefront by members of the albinism community and supporters NOT living with the condition. A new mention in EBONY magazine “Black Models Movement” among others also features Diandra Forest, the first African American model with albinism to receive a contract with a major agency. According to another blog, the piece was created in response to IMAN’s outrage at various designers for not using more black models on the runway. Where as many are simply excited for the opportunity to see a person with albinism on the cover of EBONY, im more intrigued with understanding the motivation and what the cover was intended to communicate. The segment featured a short snippet about each model on the cover, but also implied that each of these women have a unique attribute or is “flawed”, in someway. While we all have flaws, I do Not consider the condition of #albinism to be, one of my flaws. Rather people’s opinion of the condition… more so. #Lowvision associated with albinism, (for those who are effected in this way) to me, is a flaw. It is also a factor that can truly reduce the quality of a persons life and while the social stigma of Albinism and bullying are bad… they are derived from other people’s feelings and projected onto us. I’ve been here, experienced the anger and rejection and I’m still a work in progress, emotionally and psychologically as a result. I write and design to channel my energy positivity. Creativity is my gift, for I am Not defined by having Albinism alone.
So, if the initial argument that black models are not being hired are we to understand black models with a unique attribute are leading the way? Black is beautiful and does come in many shades and the cover of #EBONY really takes that home by including models with Albinism and #Vitilago. Other models featured on the cover were recently discovered and one of them off of #Instagram of all places. I remember seeing Diandra on Myspace many years ago prior to receiving her big break and she has been around for sometime now. So it may be safe to say that she is the Veteran of the group. Although in her own words she feels her skin makes her unique in the business, it seems that her features are more qualifying. She has the height, the stature and the features of a Top Model. I wish more people could see that as well. The opportunity to be showcased in EBONY is awesome but I think that if it could be used to highlight and expand on her merit in the business it would carry her further. Inclusion is important and character speaks volume, but to be sure what we are supporting we have to do the research. I’m am all for using what we have to make a difference but I believe each one of us is so much more than the skin we are in.
While the entertainment and advertising industry loves catchy slogans and phrases to grab attention, when will our uniqueness go beyond what we look like, in the albinism community? Our skin cannot make us ugly or beautiful, unless we allow other peoples opinion to sway how we feel about ourselves. There are hundreds and thousands of people in this world living with albinism. This condition affects all races, creeds and people from many different walks of life. Friends and family live through this experience with us. While we do NOT need to be business owners, models, doctors or lawyers to make a difference in this world, we must find a way to see the value within ourselves before we can share it with others. I challenge each member of the albinism community to look inside yourself and find what is truly unique about your person. What if you were not born with albinism… What if you did not have blonde hair, blue or green eyes, or white skin… What is your true uniqueness in a sea of many others who “LOOK” just like you?
I want to motivate others to stop isolating themselves mentally based on their complexion and seeking to draw attention to the outer most parts of one’s self, when we have ways to touch people, that are truly things that connect us and help us make a difference, everyday. You don’t need a cover of a magezine to validate you. If mainstream won’t listen, create your own magazine and do it in such a professional way, it makes an impact without anyone’s approval. There ate some strong characters and personalities granted their on covers with Ebony, but they were who they are before this! It’s why they are on the cover. Shape and create your opportunities, don’t allow them to create you.
There are intangible qualities that are embedded in us by things we go through and situations we learn from. We are not alone in this experiences and by sharing them we can began to practice inclusion not building more special interest groups which loose
momentum when the hype dies down. Don’t wait for people to validate you and use the opportunities to that come to you to make a difference. When opportunities don’t exist, create them. When we work together on one accord we can make that happen. Stay connected to The Albinism Alliance Group (TAAG) at www.albinism-alliance.org. We want to be example for creating opportunities. When our community was undeserved and unrepresented we stepped up. Organizing your ideas and actions enable them to live beyond today. If you really want to make a difference, share your experience,. Welcome to the ab experience by Rae Lowery. Thank you for reading my posts and I hope you subscribe to this blog. To become a contributor, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org