Men’s Fashion Week: Jeenu Mahadevan calls out colourism

Jan 20 (BBC) London, Paris, Milan, New York… it has been a frantic January for model Jeenu Mahadevan, as he flies around the world for Men’s Fashion Week. “There’s no such thing as downtime in Fashion Week, it’s just chaos for three weeks straight,” he tells the BBC.

Since the 20-year old made his international debut in 2017 in Paris, his profile has skyrocketed.

He’s modelled for fashion powerhouses including Versace, Givenchy Alexander McQueen and Burberry.

Not bad for someone who was discovered on a bus home in Oslo in March 2016.

“It was weird because this lady was just staring at me for like three stops straight – I had no idea what was going on, and I thought it was a joke to begin with.”

He says that modelling had never been an option for him – he was planning a career in computer science or astrophysics. But the fashion world had other ideas.

“I always get told that I look like Indian royalty and people think I look majestic – obviously I don’t!”

Jeenu is Norwegian with Sri Lankan heritage. He joins only a few models of South Asian origin, including Neelam Gill and Lakshmi Menon, to break into the global fashion scene.

“I felt so out of place the first few times, because there’s a bunch of white people, there’s a few black people, and you have me. And I just felt like I stood out everywhere I go, and not necessarily in a good way.”

For Jeenu the process was more isolating because of criticism from his own Asian community. He says he has faced colourism – prejudice against people who have a darker skin tone.

Read More:: BBC (Source)

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