Instagram model Deddeh Howard ( to the right, and DD for short) was born and raised in the West African nation of Liberia. As a child her family often traveled around different parts of Africa, through which she developed a love for travel, fashion and culture. She currently lives in LA.
2. A Woman Of Many Talents
DD says that she believes that "fashion is one of the keys to looking beautiful and loving one self [sic]." She’s also finishing up her bachelor’s degree in health science, and she’s even a yoga instructor. Impressive!
Not long ago, Howard noticed a major lack of diversity in the modeling industry. She recalls being turned down by various modeling agencies, who told her they had “too many” black models already, even though they had far more white models.
She decided something had to be done about the lack of diversity in the modelling world, so she created Black Mirror, a project in which she recreates iconic fashion ads that feature well-known white models like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid or Gisele Bundchen.
5. A Big Culture Shock
Howard says on her Instagram page: “Growing up in Africa, I knew nothing about black and white, we’re all equal, it was united we stand!” Coming to America must have been a big adjustment for her.
6. Howard Slays...
Just look at some of these photos she’s recreated. Gorgeous!
7. ...And Slays Some More
It’s pretty safe to say that she killed it here in her recreation of this Dolce & Gabbana ad.
Howard said about her experience at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show during New York Fashion Week that black girls came about “here and there” during the show, but that they were mostly invisible and felt more like an afterthought.
Howard believes that the visibility of these campaigns and ads is just as important as having our first black president. She says that “the next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too.”
Other models have also expressed their concerns with the modeling industry for not featuring enough diversity.
British Victoria’s Secret model Leomie Anderson recently called out the industry for “not providing enough makeup artists who are ‘competent with all races.'" She describes having many hair and makeup mishaps as a black model.
13. Setting Goals
Howard says that ultimately, she’s fighting for more diversity on billboards, as well as in movies and TV commercials. She writes on her Instagram page that the two photos being shown together in the Black Mirror project show that “we all have a place, that we all belong and should be visible!”