Monday, September 8, 2008

Brown Models

On the way back from casting yesterday (08/09/08) me and my friend were talking about how hard it is to get jobs in Malaysia. You put in so much but you get out just a little. Either that or we are doing it wrong. He is just like me in a way that there are many people saying that you can be a great model, you look unique, you should go overseas…. But its not as easy as it sounds. Its sorta like the Matrix…so many doors but which one? You can keep looking if you have all the time in the world and lotsa money to back you up.

All the time in the world meaning still young and you need lotsa money because you will be constantly going for castings and such to get recognized and get your name out there. Heck sometimes even do free shoots or shows merely in hope to get noticed! If you have all time in the world (still young) it would be ideal to start your modeling career. You can do it while you study or even while having a part time job. Of course you could still do that when you are older.. but when you are older you responsibilities change.

If you are 18 and have a part time job while modeling, its kewl cos you can pretty much find out if you are marketable before you hit your mid 20’s where you are expected to be in a more stable position. Even if your folks are not pushing you towards something more stable that pays EPF (because we don’t have any welfare in Malaysia – so without the forced savings and employers contribution you wont have any money to fall back on when you are old) I’m pretty sure deep down inside you would compare yourself to someone younger especially if they are doing better then you.

How long can you model anyway? Even as a model you should have the mind of an entrepreneur cos one day you’re Hot and the next day you’re Not.then you Rott(hopefully not heh)

Now we come back to where we started. Modeling in Malaysia. Its really tough. I don’t think it takes a genius to realize that the market is for Caucasian models and Chinese models. Chinese models…fine..I can understand to an extent…their (designer/brand) target market is most probably the Chinese market. SO a Chinese person would most probably relate better to a Chinese model cos she/he sees her/himself in her/him. They are one of the major races in the country especially in the city and do have a high buying power so it is a good group to target.

Caucasian models … well I guess Asia still chooses to be mentally governed by Whiteman. This is just MHO. I Love my White friends. It’s just that they (Asians in general – but maybe not you) have this unexplainable obsession for white supremacy. Not only do they worship them, they wana be them! Have you seen the advertisements for whitening creams?

‘The girl thinks this guy is hot but he doesn’t seem to even notice her. She is very upset so she starts using this whitening cream. And suddenly he notices her for now she is fair n beautiful’ – Dark = Ugly?

‘This girl whines to her mom that every one at school are calling her names like Black Face. So her mom gives her this magic cream and she looks so pretty now cos she is fair – Being Dark = Must be Ashamed? Disrespected?

So as me and my friend nod with agreement and shake our heads in disappointment a thought pops up between us.

He says “What about brown models like us? We will neva get a chance”

I say “ We should come up with our own agency then”

He says “Yea only for brown models

I say “Yea! We can call in Brown Models – Where Brown is the New White!” “Then when we have events n stuff we can serve Brownies and Chocolate Milk Shakes!

( I picture myself sitting at the directors desk as a client walks in) “Hi welcome to Brown Models. Care for a Brownie?” I say as my hand gestures him toward a tray full of freshly baked brownies.

The only two models from Brown Models agency


Anonymous said...

The white/dark thing is nothing to do with western supremacy it's a cultural thing from way back.

If you'd noticed white people actually prefer to be darker/tanned/brown/olive colour.

Same for Asia and especially China it's just cultural reversal.

Back in the early days when traveling was only for the super-rich those in UK who could afford to be tanned were looked upon highly so it became a culturally inviting thing.

The opposite holds true for Asia, those who are tanned are manual workers who have to work outside in the hot sun so being tanned/dark was looked down upon and became undesirable.

So the view of beauty from both sides became distorted Asia/China likes fair and UK/Europe likes brown.

Jaishana Logan said...

Thank you for your comment. Maybe wrong choice of words... but just look at the catwalks and mag spreads.

Hanis Zalikha said...


[b.a.m.b.o.o.z.e.l.e.d] said...


Nothing personal but it's totally a society thing (how contradicting, cos it tends to be a personal thing in the end) especially in Asia, how being fair is better than dark skinned something like gender bias (HIStory etc.)- where we are still trying to outfight that to this present day.

But, what's great about our generation now is that dark skinned or shall I say Brown..I dare say, slowly and surely getting recognized compared to before. (Heck those light skinned people have more chance in developing skin cancer =P).

Just that you (and the rest) should start pushing and never give up creating this awareness that, let me quote you "Brown is the New White".
Nevertheless, I personally think "Brown Models agency" is a smart move if you want to take on the entrepreneur route in the future. You should copyright the name cos I sure can foresee Malaysia having an agency for only Brown beauties. And you totally understand the predicament that Brown models are going through so you will work for the rights (damn, now I'm making you sound like an activist)
And yeah, with those sharp features (like you) your male model friend is not that bad looking either.

And with those themed events you mentioned. It really sounds like a good plan. So all the best babes.
If that doesnt work out, you may send in your resume to me. hehe =P

Good luck and you know I will support you no matter what.

Take care my Beautiful Brown Chocolate Milkshake friend.


Unknown said...

lol@ 'my Beautiful Brown Chocolate Milkshake friend'

Reminds me of one scene in the movie 'white chick'

'Ohh, what a beautiful chocolate man!'

erykkun said...

i just wanna be in the one of the Brown Models director 's seat yah..

Simon Seow said...

Maybe it's because the grass is always greener in the other side mentality?

Ninja said...

Can 4-feet tall (short) Brownies join???

I am of the Hobbit persuasion


Anonymous said...

I am kopi+susu = cappucino brown wtf.

My hubby is susu, sort of, and we live in a country of susu's who WANT to look like cappucino.

But yea, I get what you mean. In Malaysia, I was one confused woman, LOL. Cappucinos and kopi-o's arent desirable, or so I thought. Nowadays, I just dont give a crap. :P

Human beings have GOT to stop wanting to look the way they are not.

Unknown said...

Im brown too! may i join ur agency?
i totally agree on ur post.. and about the advertisments is totally discriminating!! When i was doing part time modelling back in malaysia most of the time i got rejected is because im brown skinned.. how unfair is that? anyway, i still hope u'll excel in modelling cos u r really really gorgeous!! (:

Anonymous said...

Oh you witty brown person you!

Anonymous said...

As a true brownie lover in all ways I can only say that Brown Models sounds like a really good idea.
Please invite me to casting sessions, I promise to be as subtle as Janice Dickinson. :P
Seriously though when I first saw those whitening creams I almost died know why? Coz where I come from Iceland, UK, America those same shelves in the supermarket are stocked head to toe with self tanning sprays and creams...
People who are white white, are considered unattractive coz they look unhealthy...

But in Malaysia? Well being Caucasian is a ridiculous status symbol. It really shocked me... Guys would hit on me predominantly for the whiteness...LOL.
Oh well.


Anonymous said... like I had to say something because those Fair and Lovely ads on tv have been killing me for years and years!!! Needless to say, I'm dark skinned. But get it right, there is still something with this darkness issue. I mean WHAT is black? It's true, in Sydney here they've got all sorts of crazy lotion even that gives you a nice summery tan/glow gradually. Insane. In Malaysia, I remember my grandma used to tell my cousin all the time cuz he is pretty dark "YOU LA never wash your face go and scrub properly so black" Then I've seen and heard caucasion people always comment on overtanning as "black".

THEN you see on the catwalk these SUPER black african models...and you're like "what the black hot or not?"

So i think it's definately the stupid culture. Damn bloody ads on tv...I'll never forget that chick who DIDN'T GET A JOB because she wasn't ON fair and lovely. Holy shiz man. I mean, getting a guy is one thing, but getting a job?? Haha sure it was a job as a newscaster if i'm not mistaken but heck it was a Malay girl not even as dark as it can get. Crap.

I say the brown thing you got crackin sounds like something you could work with. I mean, you could be the ONE source that people go to when they want ....brown models :). They'd come to you for everything. You can imagine...Deepavali ads, hey even backup dancers/models/supporting actors for those indian movies they film in Malaysia. Wikkid.

Oh and it's a well known fact in malaysia...White people have such an awesome status, it's why I tell these Australian friends I have here they should come to KL. Who cares if they get conned a couple of rms here and there. Currency converted 3x mah. Hah. Peace!

aly said...

JAY JAY I would like to be vice president of Brown Models. Pull some strings... Right on girl for discussing such controversial subject.

xx aly

Jaishana Logan said...

OMG! I just wrote something long enough to beat Shalini's comment and it got lost in the Cyber realm! Im so pissed! Slamat Hari Raya and Ill promise to rewrite my comment.

Anonymous said...

hah! slack...I actually came back to check. Lols you fellows in Msia must be pigging out like mad. I'm crazy jealous :P Pfft

Jaishana Logan said...

I would really like to know what kind of models they use in Africa and India. Do they use white models as well?
We are more familiar with Western world of modeling so lets take that as a case study. The catwalks are predominately white with a token or two black models. Sometimes I wonder if they are just there to add colour (pun unintended) to the show?
Im sorry Shalini to dissappoint u but i cant really remember what I wrote, u know the one that got lost in Cyberspace but I do share ure sentiments when u say "THEN you see on the catwalk these SUPER black african models...and you're like "what the black hot or not?" So is it?
What Helen said about "being Caucasian is a ridiculous status symbol" is so right. A lot of my white and mix parentage friends have told me the same thing. And they just get ppl throwing themselves at them merely because they are white.
On a more personal note...I would like to share some situations I have first handedly experienced:
1. "Eh u so black la. U got no market here. U better just do Indian show"
2. "Hahaha..sorry I cannot see you. D light off everything black"
3. When having to wear a really low dress on stage I asked for some double sided tape. The response was "Aiya so black no one wanna see oso" and "Aiya cannot see anything la all black"

and more to come.........

~*inilahSShalini*~ said...

HOly shit. Well...You know what's sad? With those things that you've heard....ahhaah it's so Malaysian...But you know I've experienced racism everywhere la. I was speaking to a bunch of chinese people who went skiing together and it turned out they ended up bullying the only "black" fellow with them...and you know what this black fellow was? VIETNAMESE! hahahahahahah.

People are just IGNORANT. In Sydney, I have heard :


2. F**k off NIGGAAAaaa
3. Ballee balleee balleeeee

THen I have also heard the occasional

1. OMG you have SUCH beautiful skin!

2. Im so JEALOUS of your tan!

But of course, being dark skinned, you can't really participate in beach activities all day because...lets face it...we dont want to be "blacker" than we are. Lols.

But yo...I have to say something. YOu know regarding the whole "model market" thing? I really really think, that you should invest your time and energy outside of Malaysia if you can. I know everyone says that, but you are so gorgeous! I swear, i mean with MDG, it was CLEAR CUT who had all the model qualities from the start. Just sad la that most of the time they need someone really really white unless it's Deepavali season or time for a new Merdeka ad.

You are amazing...I think you would do wonders even in Australia. Either that, or what you need is an agency that is predominantly out there to promote dark skinned models. DARK skinned you know, so you can accept everything brown to black. Can what...the janice dickinson of KL. I'd hire models from your agency. Not sure for what...but hey...I would!

I dont think it's such a far fetched idea. You already have two clients when I come back to Malaysia I'll to FREE freelance talent scouting work for you. Not bad right? I'll just hang out at hot spots with business cards.

Set baby...set...

HeMz said...

It's Malaysia - what do u expect?? Being fair is being the essential thing for modelling and all. Media is just another channel which potrays a concept of "being fair is the real beauty"

I personally think beauty lies on how a person bring him/herself. Once you're confident bout yourself, it really doesn't matter what ever colour you are. you will always look outstanding among the crowd.

Talking bout Brown Model's Agency, AWESOME idea!! Nice concept!! =) =)

P/S : Saw your blog while I was blogsurfing. =) Awesome pictures! =)=)

LogicYuan said...

you can't change the society,that's all i can say..

you chose this path,that means you've made the decision to face the consequences but where can you find success without hardship? So, all the best~!

R3Stax Admin said...

I apologise for going off on another tangent but this "white supremacy" concept so pervasive in our society, also applies to aspiring photographers.
Pretty demoralising to have my own parents tell me that photography is a caucasian domain and as an asian, I can forget about my chances to make it in the photography industry.
The negativity is like a cancer, perpetuated by our elders and gradually ingrained into the mental psyche of the younger generation.

Anonymous said...

hey jsut browsing through and just thought i HAD to leave a comment here .. SO TRUE what u wrote. its sad that we dont want to show our malaysian faces when we promote truly asia hyprocracy at its best ! i was once told that im not dark enough for a deepavali ad and not mat salleh enough for the rest.

strangely my friend made this summary when she told me 13 yrs ago when we were in form 2 that u only see chinese n mat sallehs and i guess things havent changed much. will join your brown agency in a heartbeat.

but just its a shame that in other countries ppl want to be like us and want to have skin like us and promote our skin type. and the fair n lovely advert .... well its horrible ! i dont think it would hev been shown in any progressive country.

i hope this article gets picked up by some major mags n newspapers.

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