Black Out: Joy Bryant's Runway Race Critique

joybryant_philliplimJoy Bryant is one of those amazingly beautiful model/actresses who's physical charms might make you doubt the possibility of mental prowess. Really, who amongst us wouldn't rather believe that the beautiful are dumb and us frogs have all dem smarts? Well, Joy Bryant wants you to know that she has it all:
Seventeen magazine was booking their back to school issue and selected me. They seemed to dig my Ivy League credentials. Others seemed shocked that I wasn't an idiot. This is, verbatim, how the conversation would go every time:
Fashion Person: So, have you finished high school?
Me: Umm, yeah, I did a few years of college too.
Fashion Person: College? Really? Where?
Me: Oh, just a school in CT.
Fashion Person: Where in CT?
Me: New Haven.
Fashion Person: And what school is this?
Me: Uh, Yale—
Fashion Person: Oh, you're smart?!
Ah, the old H-Bomb repurposed for Yale. Subtle, Joy. Anyways, she does have some valid points: Models are considered intellectual and physical cattle and, in the industry, race is considered more a factor of "flavor" or "style" than an element of social being. A fashion designer can dismiss a model simply because he is, "not using black girls this season." Frightening as this is, and as hurtful as it obviously was to Bryant, it's a strangely post-racial attitude—a designer could dismiss a beauty with a smoky, dour look because he's concentrating on youth and positivity just as easily. Course, that doesn't make it any less shitty. (Huffington Post)

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