Joan Smalls has been left “overwhelmed” by the support she has received for calling out the fashion industry for not doing enough to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Thursday, the Puerto Rico-born model posted a lengthy video on Instagram in which she criticised the fashion industry for simply “jumping on the bandwagon” by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and urged industry leaders to take action to address the racism and inequality that she has experienced during her modelling career. Smalls said it feeds “the beast of racism and inequality” and called on leaders to give people of colour “a real seat at the table”.
Her fellow models heaped praise on her in the comments, with Kendall Jenner, Imaan Hammam, Lily Aldridge, Duckie Thot, Karen Elson, and Ashley Graham all writing supportive messages. They also spread the word by sharing the video on their Instagram Stories, with Cara Delevingne and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful also posting it on their timelines with gushing captions.
Uploading the video on their respective Instagram Stories, Amber Valletta wrote, “Listen up fashion family (praying hands emoji) Take Action,” Alton Mason posted, “I love you Joan! We in this together (sic). Thank you Queen @joansmalls,” while Victoria’s Secret star Jasmine Tookes stated, “Our stories will be heard… Very well said @joansmalls… Couldn’t agree more & have had all of the same experiences.”
Hours later, the 31-year-old, who also pledged to donate half her income for the rest of 2020 towards organisations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, wrote a message on her own Stories timeline to explain how much the positive reaction has meant to her.
“I’m truly overwhelmed by the support and the love shown. To my friends, to my family and my Gaaaang! I love you more then (sic) you’ll ever know. I was nervous about this and had a lot of sleepless nights, so my heart is def touched,” she commented.
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