Bethann Hardison Participates In "What's Underneath" Documentaries And Reflects On Diversity In The Fashion Industry

TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Prune PERROMAT, Lifestyle-US-fashion-people Former fashion model Bethann Hardison poses for a portrait in New York September 4, 2014 in New York. Hardison pioneered the campaign for diversity on the catwalk with the message that fashion isn't only white. She strutted the runway herself in the 1960s and 1970s, then carved out a career finding and promoting the coolest models of any skin tone, until in 1996 she briefly moved to Mexico. Then the trend for supermodels with individuality -- some of them black -- gave way to a uniform, almost entirely white look as designers shifted the focus from the girl to the clothes. Horrified to see so few black models on the runway in Milan, London, Paris and New York, last year Hardison founded the Diversity Coalition to publicly name and shame the fashion houses who used only one or no model of color in their shows. AFP PHOTO/Joshua Lott (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images

Former model Bethann Hardison has made a lasting career in the fashion industry whether it were running her own agency, walking the runway, or raising the issues centering around diversity. Commonly called the "mom" of models, Hardison is also a member of the CFDA and was named Editor-At-Large for the digital platform of Vogue Italia. She has persistently opened the discussion around diversity issues in the fashion industry and has successfully played a role in changing the way it operates. So it's no surprise that Bethann Hardison raised these issues in her "What's Underneath" documentary, and yes, it was completely necessary.

If you haven't heard of "What's Underneath," it's a series ran by StyleLikeU founders Lily Mandelbaum and Elisa Goodkind where they ask their guests to strip down while commenting on issues surrounding body image, fat shaming, and many other topics surrounding the way we see beauty as a society.

Hardison's comments on race in her video are as profound as profound gets. And with almost a decade discussing and progressively changing the fashion industry's view on diversity, Hardison has remained to provide concrete and valuable examples needed to alter the way this industry functions.

She explains, "I'm not someone from the outside saying, 'What's wrong with all you people?' No, no, no. And that's why I've never called anyone in my industry a racist." Instead she says, "I'm giving them a break, I'm calling them ignorant."

Hear more of Hardison's beautiful message in the video below:


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