1. Seeing the darker skin at Naomi Campbell’s joints is the reason for this post.
2. Here Naomi Campbell communicates some feeling / atmosphere / affect that fabulous and fierce Naomi Campbell is not usually invited to communicate.
3. This is skin usually evened out for editorials to create smooth lengths of mahogany and ebony. Here we’re confronted by the skin’s life and history.
4. We read Wole Soyinka’s ‘Telephone Conversation’ in English Lit. The words “has turned / My bottom raven black” prompt one of my classmates to ask me if I too have a black arse, like the man in the poem.
5. Cambridge, a decent chunk of the country’s elite is at this party, on MDMA, watching interracial porn. A friend screams ‘YUCK!’, swivels her head towards me and demands to know if my labia are also black like the woman’s in the film.
6. Here, Naomi Campbell’s body is not what black women’s bodies often are in these editorial contexts. Which is:
- contrast against the white background, clothing, other model(s)
- present as shorthand for exoticism (cue animal prints) / diva status / sass
7. Naomi Campbell’s body does not tell the viewer anything at all about whiteness - which is to say, she is not an instrument
8. Naomi Campbell’s skin is not mahogany or ebony - which is to say, she is not an ornament. Here, almost pathetically human.