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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Naomi Campbell and Racism in Fashion

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Date: Aug 22, 2007
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THE ARTICLE

Top fashion model says Vogue is racist

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has accused Britain’s Vogue fashion magazine of being racist. She says the publication is guilty of "sidelining black beauty". Campbell is one of the few black models ever to have appeared on the cover of the British Vogue. She shot to fame in the international modeling world after appearing on its cover at the age of 17 back in the eighties. She appeared another seven times in the following two decades. The magazine has only had 12 issues featuring black models in its entire 91-year history, which suggests she may have a point. Since her last front-cover appearance in August 2002, no other black model has been featured. Campbell said: "Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies. It is a pity that people don't appreciate black beauty.”

Campbell has tried to bring racism within the fashion industry to the public’s attention throughout her career. Speaking recently in Kenya, she said: "Only white models, some of whom are not as prominent as I am, are put on [high profile] pages. I don't want to quit modelling until I find that black models get equal prominence and recognition by the world media." She added that even she still got a “raw deal” from fashion magazines in England. Adenike Adenitire, editor of New Nation, a newspaper for Britain's black community, agreed with Campbell. She said: "I would say a lot of black girls do not get certain breaks…because they are black. You don't really see black models on the front covers of mainstream magazines in Britain.” She added: “It is far more common to see black faces on front covers in America."

WARM-UPS

1. FASHION: Walk around the class and talk to other students about fashion and fashion models. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

supermodels /accusations / fashion / racism / fame / black models / pity / careers / high profile people / quitting / world media / raw deals / lucky breaks

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. RACISM: In pairs / groups, discuss whether these professions are racist. Are they racist in your country / other countries? Put them in order of most/least racist.

  • the fashion industry
  • the movie industry
  • the legal profession
  • the army
  • sports
  • the police force
  • the IT industry
  • other ____________________

4. GETTING A RAW DEAL: Have you ever got any of these raw deals? Discuss with your partner(s).

  • being punished because you’re the oldest
  • not being chosen because you’re a man/woman
  • being picked first/last because of your name and alphabetical order
  • something bad happening because of your nationality
  • something bad happening because of your religion
  • something bad happening because of your skin colour
  • something bad happening because of your accent
  • something bad happening because of your level of intelligence

5. SUPERMODEL: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with supermodels. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think the fashion industry is racist. Students B think the opposite. Change partners often. Share your findings.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A supermodel said a magazine uttered racist comments to her.

T / F

b.

The supermodel accused the magazine of neglecting black women.

T / F

c.

A leading fashion mag has had black women on its cover 91 times.

T / F

d.

The last time a black model was on Vogue’s cover was in 2006.

T / F

e.

Naomi, the supermodel, has rarely spoken about racism in fashion.

T / F

f.

Lesser-known white models are often chosen ahead of Naomi.

T / F

g.

Naomi says she gets special treatment by English magazines.

T / F

h.

The front covers of U.S. magazines often have black models.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

publication

a.

shame

2

sidelining

b.

unfair treatment

3.

shot

c.

value

4.

pity

d.

notice

5.

appreciate

e.

famous

6.

attention

f.

marginalizing

7.

prominent

g.

magazine

8.

recognition

h.

popular

9.

a raw deal

i.

acknowledgement

10.

mainstream

j.

rocketed

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

the publication is guilty

a.

a point

2

She shot to

b.

deal from fashion magazines

3.

The magazine has only had 12

c.

of "sidelining black beauty"

4.

she may have

d.

and recognition

5.

It is a pity that people don't

e.

issues featuring black models

6.

bring racism within the fashion industry

f.

magazines

7.

black models get equal prominence

g.

appreciate black beauty

8.

she still got a raw

h.

more common

9.

the front covers of mainstream

i.

fame

10.

far

j.

to the public’s attention

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Top fashion model says Vogue is racist
 

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has __________ Britain’s Vogue fashion magazine of __________ racist. She says the publication is guilty of  "sidelining black beauty". Campbell is one of the few black models ever to have appeared on the cover of the British Vogue. She shot to __________ in the international modeling world after appearing on its cover at the age of 17 __________ in the eighties. She appeared another seven times in the following two decades. The magazine has only had 12 issues featuring black models in its __________ 91-year history, which suggests she may have a __________. Since her last front-cover appearance in August 2002, no other black model has been __________. Campbell said: "Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies. It is a pity that people don't __________ black beauty.”

 

 

 

point
entire
being
featured
back
accused
appreciate
fame

Campbell has tried to bring racism within the fashion industry to the public’s __________ throughout her career. Speaking recently in Kenya, she said: "Only white models, some of whom are not as __________ as I am, are put on [high profile] pages. I don't want to quit modelling until I find that black models get __________ prominence and recognition by the world media." She added that even she still got a “__________ deal” from fashion magazines in England. Adenike Adenitire, editor of New Nation, a newspaper for Britain's black __________, agreed with Campbell. She said: "I would say a lot of black girls do not get certain __________ …because they are black. You don't really see black models on the front covers of __________ magazines in Britain.” She added: “It is far more __________ to see black faces on front covers in America."

 

 

breaks

raw
prominent
common
community
attention
mainstream
equal

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Top fashion model says Vogue is racist

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has accused Britain’s Vogue fashion magazine _____________. She says the publication _______________ "sidelining black beauty". Campbell is _______________ black models ever to have appeared on the cover of the British Vogue. She _______________ in the international modeling world after appearing on its cover at the age of 17 _______________. She appeared another seven times in the following two decades. The magazine has only had 12 issues featuring black models in its _______________ history, which suggests she _______________. Since her last front-cover appearance in August 2002, no other black model has been featured. Campbell said: "Black models are _______________ the major modelling agencies. It is a pity that people don't appreciate black beauty.”

Campbell has tried to bring racism within the fashion industry _______________ attention throughout her career. Speaking recently in Kenya, she said: "Only white models, _______________ are not as prominent as I am, are put on [high profile] pages. I don't want to quit modelling until I find that black models get _______________ and recognition by the world media." She added that even she still _______________ from fashion magazines in England. Adenike Adenitire, editor of New Nation, a newspaper for Britain's black community, agreed with Campbell. She said: "I would say a lot of black girls do _______________ …because they are black. You don't really see black models on the front covers of _______________ in Britain.” She added: “It is far more common to see black faces on front covers in America."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘fashion’ and ‘magazine’.

fashion

magazine

 

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • accused
  • few
  • shot
  • entire
  • since
  • pity
  • attention
  • whom
  • equal
  • raw
  • certain
  • common

STUDENT RACISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about RACISM in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. What springs to mind when you hear about supermodels?
  3. Would you like to be a supermodel?
  4. What do you think about Naomi Campbell’s views?
  5. Do you think leading fashion magazines are racist?
  6. What do you think the owners of Vogue think about Naomi’s opinions?
  7. Why do you think so few black models are used by British fashion mags?
  8. Do you think it’s true that people don’t appreciate black beauty?
  9. Do you think white readers of Vogue prefer looking at white models?
  10. Do you think someone should sue Vogue for being racist?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Is Vogue racist or is it reflecting the makeup of British society?
  3. What colour models would you prefer to see in magazines?
  4. Should there be rules on the proportion of models in magazines according to skin colour?
  5. Do you think black models will ever get equal prominence and recognition?
  6. What should black models do to make sure they do get the same breaks as white models?
  7. Is America a less racist society than Britain?
  8. What examples of racism exist in your country?
  9. What questions would you like to ask Vogue’s editor?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

Top fashion model says Vogue is racist

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has (1) ____ Britain’s Vogue fashion magazine of being racist. She says the publication is guilty (2) ____ "sidelining black beauty". Campbell is one of the few black models ever to have appeared on the cover of the British Vogue. She (3) ____ to fame in the international modeling world after appearing on its cover at the age of 17 (4) ____ in the eighties. She appeared another seven times in the following two decades. The magazine has only had 12 issues featuring black models in its entire 91-year history, which (5) ____ she may have a point. Since her last front-cover appearance in August 2002, no other black model has been featured. Campbell said: "Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies. It is a (6) ____ that people don't appreciate black beauty.”

Campbell has tried to bring racism (7) ____ the fashion industry to the public’s attention throughout her career. Speaking recently in Kenya, she said: "Only white models, some of whom are not as prominent as I am, are put on [high profile] pages. I don't want to (8) ____ modelling until I find that black models get (9) ____ prominence and recognition by the world media." She added that even she still got a “(10) ____ deal” from fashion magazines in England. Adenike Adenitire, editor of New Nation, a newspaper for Britain's black community, agreed with Campbell. She said: "I would say a lot of black girls do not get (11) ____ breaks…because they are black. You don't really see black models on the front covers of (12) ____ magazines in Britain.” She added: “It is far more common to see black faces on front covers in America."

1.

(a)

accepted

(b)

accosted

(c)

accused

(d)

accepted

2.

(a)

of

(b)

for

(c)

with

(d)

by

3.

(a)

fired

(b)

bullet

(c)

shoot

(d)

shot

4.

(a)

backed

(b)

back

(c)

backs

(d)

backer

5.

(a)

suggests

(b)

hints

(c)

seems

(d)

charges

6.

(a)

pitta

(b)

pith

(c)

pitch

(d)

pity

7.

(a)

wither

(b)

without

(c)

within

(d)

withhold

8.

(a)

quieten

(b)

quit

(c)

quieter

(d)

quiet

9.

(a)

equalize

(b)

equity

(c)

equality

(d)

equal

10.

(a)

raw

(b)

uncooked

(c)

fresh

(d)

naked

11.

(a)

curtain

(b)

certainly

(c)

certain

(d)

sure

12.

(a)

downstream

(b)

mainstream

(c)

streaming

(d)

upstream

WRITING: 

Write about racism for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about supermodel Naomi Campbell. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SUPERMODEL POSTER: Make a poster about different supermodels around the world – of all colours. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about fashion models and racism. Include imaginary interviews with black and white models and a fashion magazine editor.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Which article was best and why?

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the editor of Vogue. Ask her three questions about the rare use of black models. Give her three pieces of advice about what she should do to help reduce racism. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

publication

a.

magazine

2

sidelining

b.

marginalizing

3.

shot

c.

rocketed

4.

pity

d.

shame

5.

appreciate

e.

value

6.

attention

f.

notice

7.

prominent

g.

famous

8.

recognition

h.

acknowledgement

9.

a raw deal

i.

unfair treatment

10.

mainstream

j.

popular

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the publication is guilty

a.

of "sidelining black beauty"

2

She shot to

b.

fame

3.

The magazine has only had 12

c.

issues featuring black models

4.

she may have

d.

a point

5.

It is a pity that people don't

e.

appreciate black beauty

6.

bring racism within the fashion industry

f.

to the public’s attention

7.

black models get equal prominence

g.

and recognition

8.

she still got a raw

h.

deal from fashion magazines

9.

the front covers of mainstream

i.

magazines

10.

far

j.

more common

GAP FILL:

Top fashion model says Vogue is racist

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has accused Britain’s Vogue fashion magazine of being racist. She says the publication is guilty of  "sidelining black beauty". Campbell is one of the few black models ever to have appeared on the cover of the British Vogue. She shot to fame in the international modeling world after appearing on its cover at the age of 17 back in the eighties. She appeared another seven times in the following two decades. The magazine has only had 12 issues featuring black models in its entire 91-year history, which suggests she may have a point. Since her last front-cover appearance in August 2002, no other black model has been featured. Campbell said: "Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies. It is a pity that people don't appreciate black beauty.”

Campbell has tried to bring racism within the fashion industry to the public’s attention throughout her career. Speaking recently in Kenya, she said: "Only white models, some of whom are not as prominent as I am, are put on [high profile] pages. I don't want to quit modelling until I find that black models get equal prominence and recognition by the world media." She added that even she still got a “raw deal” from fashion magazines in England. Adenike Adenitire, editor of New Nation, a newspaper for Britain's black community, agreed with Campbell. She said: "I would say a lot of black girls do not get certain breaks…because they are black. You don't really see black models on the front covers of mainstream magazines in Britain.” She added: “It is far more common to see black faces on front covers in America."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 -a

3 - d

4 - b

5 - a

6 - d

7 -c

8 - b

9 -d

10 - a

11 - c

12 - b

 

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