In my own personal experience building FashCam it has been demonstrated that color still indeed does matter to audiences. In posting on social media resonance does tend to result an increased response with ‘fairer’ imagery. For some moviegoers, the decision to make Rue and Thresh African-American weakened the impact of the 2012 release of Hunger Games. “Why does rue have to be black not gonna lie ruined the movie,” one dismayed fan tweeted. “EWW rue is black?? I’m not watching,” bemoaned another. “Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad #ihatemyself.” There were many more tweets that clearly indicated fans had not paid close enough attention to the book, in which the character Rue was described as ‘dark-skinned’.
Yes there are going to be a few bad eggs amongst us. These uninformed opinions stem from the legacy of enslavement, greed and colonialism. These atrocities continue to play on the minds of the public today. Everything changes. But change must be exemplified and led by the creators and decision makers who generate the images the world will come to iconize. Recent scandalous hacked emails from Hollywood elite expose them ridiculing President Obama that his taste in movies is exclusively confined to racial stereotypes not befitting the President of the United States. “Should I ask him if he likes’ DJANGO?’” asked Amy Pascal, a Sony Pictures’ co-chair. Scott Rudin, a movie producer, responds: “Or ‘The Butler’… or ‘Ride-Along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”
This same racial divide persists in fashion today. Tireless champions like Bethann Hardison and Naomi Campbell are continually moved to remind those in power to assume responsibility to advance equality via the images they promote to inspire lives and sales. Although Donyale Luna never claimed an identity as a black woman and insisted on her multiracial lineage, she has without a doubt, paved the way for many. It was too painful to be exclusive in her time, but perhaps unwittingly mindful to be inclusive.
We are comforted in the knowledge that race, body shape, language and ideas on beauty and attraction will lessen in import as the Internet continues to diminish our differences and celebrate our global similarities as human beings.