If you haven’t heard the name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, chances are, you know her work. Aside from being a highly-acclaimed writer of titles like We Should All Be Feminists ($9) and Americanah ($21), Adichie’s popular TED talk was also featured in Beyoncé’s 2013 hit song, "Flawless". Fast becoming one of the foremost intellectual voices in the US right now, Adichie recently sat down with Port Magazine, to share her insights on feminism and diversity, the interview only partially reflecting why we need more women in the spotlight like her.
In fact, in the interview Adichie raises an important point about how we think about feminism, asserting that, as much as women play a crucial role, men do too. And without their support, it’s impossible to gain traction. “Men can be feminists. And if they’re not, we’ll never get anywhere because we’re in this mix together.”
When it comes to diversity, particularly in the fashion industry, Adichie implores fashion houses to shy away from token-casting of diverse models, and instead, adequately represent diversity in all it’s forms—even if that means accepting monetary risk. “For too long the view has been, ‘We already have a black model’, as if one is all you need. More racial diversity in the fashion press is, a moral obligation, and if the sales aren’t great at first, then you might have to go through that. But fashion has such broad appeal we can change the status quo.
If you put me in charge, I could find the models and sell the issues!” Constantly pushing boundaries, Adichie is a great example of the power within us all to use our experiences (both good and bad) to promote positive message through our stories. And we have a feeling, this is just the beginning for Adichie.