Written by Erin Yasmeen
Our media is still very focused on white idealism and images. We continue producing and creating ads, photo campaigns, and videos that represent the ideologies of the dominant white culture that has existed for years. Time and time again I have seen ads, photo series etc.that are created or used for the issue of “diversity” and acceptance leave out a large percentage of people. Specifically, South Asian individuals. Music videos such as Dua Lipa’s, “New Rules” music video features a variety of women of color but out of the 9 plus girls featured in the music video, there are no Asian women.
Dove is a brand known for making strides in representation and body positivity. In 2016, they launched a whole campaign focused on different types of women in true, raw beauty (ie no photoshop, etc.). It was a billboard campaign that featured groups of “real,” diverse women in their underwear. Yet, once again, there were no Asian women featured. A whole campaign based around diversity and embracing the different types of women there are in this world and they completely left out a large population of the world. How is it that Asian women are forgotten time and time again?
As a Half Pakistani woman I always felt disheartened there was no representation or visibility of someone who looked like me. This series is very close to me because it is an issue that I care about and experience first hand. I wanted to showcase the beauty of Desi men and women and bring visibility to the clothes and culture of South Asian culture.
In my previous series, Pulchritudinem Terrae I wrote that “Media plays a huge role in our lives (…) as a half Pakistani/a mixed-race woman I rarely see the representation of Middle Eastern and Asian women in the media, even in shoots that are specifically targeted for diversity. This is an issue that was close to me and I wanted to make sure that I had women in my series that represented a part of the beauty that I believe the media currently lacks.”
Today I wanted to fill in those missing pieces.
Photography and concept by: Erin Yasmeen
View the full galleries and more of Erin’s work at erinyasmeen.com.