Madison Avenue Wants Cute Little Black Girls, Can’t Find Them

Sarah Warn, AfterEllen.com, January 26, 2009

{snip}

New York magazine reports that ad agencies are suddenly eager to cast young girls who look like Sasha and Malia Obama to sell products. {snip}

But wait, hold the phone! Is that even possible? Marlene Wallach, president of Wilhelmina Kids & Teens, says the First Daughters are tough subjects to match because, “It’s a very specific age and a very specific ethnicity, so there aren’t that many girls that would necessarily fit the bill.”

Um, what? It’s difficult to find cute young black girls? What city/country have you been living in? What you really meant to say is, “Damn, I guess we really should have had more than one black model on our payroll before now!”

{snip}

On the other hand, I do love the fact that modeling agencies are now being forced to hire more black girls and women. As the continued discouraging results from the classic white-doll/black-doll studies show (as recently as 2006!), there’s clearly a need for greater visibility and celebration of darker-skinned women.

What do you all think–another positive outcome from the Obama election, another depressing sign of America’s obsession with consumerism, or proof that we still have a long way to go to achieve true racial equality? (Or all three?)

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