Thursday February 27, 2020
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 05: Iman attends the 2020 amfAR New York Gala on February 05, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/WireImage,)
Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid, more famously known as Iman, is a supermodel in the fashion industry who believes that to see more inclusion and better representation in Congress, the “whole culture” must change. In an interview with The Hill's In The Know Iman discussed diversity in politics.
The supermodel likens her career as a runway model to a politician, saying there initially was not much acceptance for people of color, but as time grew and trends formulate, diversity became a hot-button issue.
In an interview with The Hill's In The Know Iman discussed diversity in politics. “I think the whole diversity issue, it’s the whole culture. It’s not just about one industry or the other,” Iman said, The Hill reported. “From the beginning, it’s like the people who were saying we’re not going to use black models on our runway were the people who were saying, ‘I love Jay-Z and Beyonce.’ You know, it changes and permeates in all our culture.”
The Somali American humanitarian has collaborated with fellow Black supermodels Naomi Campbell and Bethann Hardison to bring awareness of discrimination in fashion, encouraging fashion designers to use models of color on runways and marketing campaigns.
Called the Balance Diversity campaign in 2013, Iman and others used their status during fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris, and Milan to call out designers whose catwalks were mostly white. Iman also received the BRAG Legacy Award for promoting "diversity from a retail point of view," according to the Associated Press.
“Image is so important. People used to say to me, ‘You just want to be invited to the table.’ And I’m like, ‘F--- the table — I can buy my own table.’ But the young girls who are coming up? They need to see themselves portrayed,” Iman told Harper’s Bazaar in a 2018 interview, reported by The Hill.
Iman told The Hill that she is happy to see more women in Congress, which currently comprises about 23 percent of the House and Senate, The Hill reported.
“Those women — there’s a diversity within themselves,” Iman said. “So it’s a brand new day, we’ve never had that before. You have to take every level of success to build upon it.”
Although she majored in political science in college and is a registered Democrat, Iman is happy that she is not a careered politician or makes a living off politics.
Iman specifies that she wants to be considered a private citizen because, in her opinion, she can get more things done and enable her to challenge anyone she sees fit.
“Thank God I never got into politics,” Iman said. “I’m very happy about it because I think you’re most successful to be a citizen outside of politics, because in politics we know we have to play with our parties.”
“You can’t be against your party. You have to play within your party. You have to play in that sandbox. “But as a citizen, I can say anything I want and I can change my mind if I want,” she added.