Polishing Brown Diamonds: African American Women, Popular Magazines, and the Advent of Modeling in Early Postwar America

  title={Polishing Brown Diamonds: African American Women, Popular Magazines, and the Advent of Modeling in Early Postwar America},
  author={Laila Haidarali},
  journal={Journal of Women's History},
  pages={10 - 37}
  • L. Haidarali
  • Published 18 March 2005
  • History
  • Journal of Women's History
This article examines the advent of modeling as a profession for African American women. This new career resulted from two developments in early postwar America: the needs of advertisers and the rise of African American photographic magazines. While modeling expanded the economic opportunities open to African American women, the profession proscribed those careers within a middle-class value system of marriage, motherhood, and domesticity. Despite the conservative definitions of feminized… 

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