Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


First Advisor

Tammy Greer

Second Advisor

Kevin Moore

Third Advisor

Caroline Good


Throughout American history, Black women have been treated as the most inferior group. Social status is dependent on race, gender, and economic status. These factors contribute to overall social hierarchies. Whiter skin tones are more desired than darker tones. The fashion industry perpetuates white desirability while also displaying Black women as undesirable and inferior. The fashion industry is dominated by white males, and white women are the representations within fashion. Fashion, therefore, is a reflection of the white male’s ideal world: desirable white women, submissive Black women, and very few Black men. Black women however are changing the narrative within the fashion industry and are creating new paths toward fashion. Fashion is a racist industry and uses visual media outlets to promote racist thought processes. Black women are exposing these ideas and shifting the definition of fashion.