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03-29-2011, 09:34 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
OMG! There's Discrimination in the modeling industry.
The Australian media recently featured a story of an allegation of race discrimination in the modeling industry. Ms. Kema Rajandran, a beautiful young Indian model, complained to news services about a modeling agency in Perth that advised her that her work would be limited because of her race. In an email to Ms. Rajandran, the coordinator of the agency said,
We think you are very photogenic and would be suitable for our Casting Division. … Please note however that as you are of non-Caucasian heritage your work opportunities in Perth would be extremely limited.
Now, there is no doubt that this is race discrimination, or at least an indication that Ms. Rajandran can expect to encounter race discrimination in her future attempts to book modeling work in Perth. Evidently offended by this news, Ms. Rajandran told the Australian media that she plans to speak out against the agency (and in fact was already doing so, by complaining to the media about the matter in the first place).
In response, the manager of the modeling agency adopted the don't-shoot-the-messenger defense, arguing that the agency was just being honest with Ms. Rajandran about her prospects in the Perth modeling industry. "This is just ridiculous," the manager told the media. "I don't see that this is race related. If we don't feel that she's going to secure work in the Perth market … then we tell [her] about it. We have the liberty to give an honest opinion."
Really? Not race related? Doesn't that term "non-Caucasian heritage" have just a little bit to do with race?
Let's get real here: this is race related. Ms. Rajandran has been advised that she is, or will be, the subject of adverse race discrimination as a model in Perth. She has been explicitly advised that she will find it harder to get modeling work because she is not Caucasian — and you don't get too much more clear-cut than that. It is quite likely that this race discrimination is not the agency's decision, and that they are indeed just the messenger, but it is nonetheless real. This is race related.
So is this unfair? There is something about race discrimination that certainly seems unfair to many people. Ms. Rajandran can't change the fact that she is Indian, nor, presumably, would she want to. She has no control over her race and had no choice in the matter to begin with — she was born with Indian heritage, and she will die with Indian heritage. It is not a characteristic that reflects on her character or decisions. And she is therefore facing adverse consequences from a personal characteristic that is not of her own making. Nevertheless, something seems amiss. Something rings hollow about her protests. But what is it?
One might feel a bit sorry for Ms. Rajandran. One might, that is, until one realizes that although she is the subject of adverse discrimination in this present instance, she is also the beneficiary of many other forms of discrimination, of a very similar kind. In fact, her entire career, and her entire qualification as a model, depends on forms of discrimination that are exactly as arbitrary and superficial as the race discrimination she is now facing.
This moral similarity between race discrimination and other kinds of discrimination is quite interesting. In his writings on discrimination, Professor Walter Block exposes the absurdity of attempts to forcibly equalize representation in different occupations and activities amongst demographic groups, saying,
Even if such a policy were possible to administer fairly, which it is not, even if it did some good, which it does not, it is always open to the charge of hypocrisy, for there is no difference in principle between the characteristics which are presently protected (race, gender, nationality) and those that are not (height, weight, intelligence, beauty). And further, the characteristics we have so far considered are only the tip of the iceberg of those upon which people discriminate.
In addition, to mention only a few more, there is hair color, the side of the head upon which people part their hair, fastidiousness, neatness, strength of handshake, biliousness, loudness, shyness, considerateness, reliability, left or right handedness — the list goes on and on.
What else can Professor Block teach us about discrimination in the present case? Well, take a look at the photos below: one is a picture of Ms. Rajandran; the other is a picture of Professor Block.
Ask yourself, why is it that Ms. Rajandran can make a living as a fashion model, but Professor Block probably could not? If your visual assessment is anything like mine, you'll notice the following: Ms. Rajandran is a young woman, whereas Professor Block is an older gentleman, whose peak of physical beauty is probably a few years behind him. She is extremely lean and physically fit, whereas he is a bit stockier, with less muscle tone and a touch more bulk. She has a beautiful, youthful face, full lips, stylish hair, taut skin, a long elegant nose, and big bright youthful eyes. He has quite a handsome face, but with older, less-taut skin, smaller eyes, a bigger, more-bulbous nose, scruffier and grayer hair, and a proud bald cranium — not exactly in high demand in the modeling world. (But at least he doesn't have to worry about discrimination on the basis of which side he parts his hair!)
Doubtless, Professor Block is a handsome fellow. But absent some major change in the kind of "look" favored in the modeling world, he is not likely to appear on the catwalk anytime soon. He is of Caucasian heritage yes, but nonetheless, due to other unchosen characteristics, his opportunities in the modeling world are, as a modeling agency might put it, "extremely limited."
OMG those bastards in the modeling industry discriminate.
03-29-2011, 09:39 PM #2gunit130 Guest
omg, that's way too fucking much to read.
DID NOT READ.