Black Top Model Leomie Anderson Shares Behind-The-Scenes Makeup Fiasco

Photo: Getty Images

"Being a black model is doing other people's jobs and not being paid for the extra work looool," top model Leomie Anderson tweeted last week.

In a behind-the-scenes clip the British runway model exposed how she had to DIY her own glam at the Christian Cowan show at New York Fashion Week last month after the makeup artists and hair styles were ill-equipped to do her makeup or hair.

Anderson, a model who has been in the game for over a decade, redid her makeup 10 minutes before strutting down the runway.

The model's now-viral video of the experience has some in the industry speaking up about what happens backstage at fashion shows and how calls for diversity and inclusion have to go past who's on the runway and include who's backstage.

Anderson's recap video shows how a makeup artist applied the wrong shade of foundation. Anderson said she "felt ugly AF" after a second makeup artist failed to fix the makeup mishap.

For her hair, Anderson snapped a photo of three stylists handling her hair, which left her feeling like she "wanted to go home." Her message to fashion houses? Hire Black makeup artists and hair stylists so Black models don't have to keep going through this.

Unfortunately, Anderson's experience isn't unique. In 2017, model Ashley Chew created the hashtag #BlackModelsMatter to bring awareness to the failures of the fashion industry that routinely marginalize Black models and create more work for them backstage.

According to the Fashion Spot, last month's NYFW was the second-most diverse, with 55.5% models of color strutting down the runways, however what Leomie experienced backstage underlines how diversity backstage matters, too.

"This isn't new really. I'm not shocked," celebrity makeup artist Esther Edeme told BuzzFeed News. Edeme has worked with Eve, Jourdan Dunn, Ari Lennox, and more. Edeme personally worked with Leomie to teach her how to fix makeup mistakes in case of emergencies.

"If they mess it up, she knows what to do –– she knows what to add, what to remove," Edeme said.

"These are the things she's had to train to do, and she shouldn't have to do any of that because she would get on set and the other white makeup artists are there with their white talent and they're fine."

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