Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A Brazilian model has accused a job agent of racism after he claimed her Afro hairstyle would draw too much attention at an event he offered her work at.
Bruna Campos, a 27-year-old mixed-race model from the Brazilian city of Itapetininga, shared an audio message sent to her by the agent who was considering her for a work opportunity.
She also posted screenshots of her WhatsApp conversation with him to social media, accusing him of racism after he asked her to tone down her Afro hairstyle.
The unnamed agent had offered Bruna a work opportunity as front of house at an event in a restaurant in the city of Sao Paulo.
In the audio note, he can be heard telling the young woman: “You’re perfect, the only thing is, what can you do to your hair to lessen the volume, the size a bit? Do you understand my question? It’s because you can’t put a hat or cap on.
“Your hair is beautiful, it suits you, okay, but I’m looking for this place, you see? At lunchtime, we need something a bit more discreet.”
He reiterated his points in messages he wrote to the young woman reading: “Very pretty. But to work there, you have to be very low-profile.” And: “Your hair draws lots of attention, right?”
Bruna got in touch with the agency herself after she found the work opportunity through WhatsApp. The employee in question got in touch with her on 9th June.
In addition to modelling, Bruna is in her final year of a physiotherapy degree, which she is studying in the city of Sorocaba.
She says the agent’s audio message made her cry, and that she shared it online to show that racism still exists in society.
She asked her over 8,000 Instagram followers: “The way he expresses himself without an ounce of empathy. How difficult is it to say ‘we liked your profile, but would it be okay for you to put a cap on because it’s a restaurant?’… But it was completely the opposite and that’s what surprised me.”
Since taking to social media to vent her frustrations, she has since received public support from a number of celebrities including singer Vanessa da Mata.
Bruna declined to share the name of the agency or the employee who got in touch with her so as not to ruin their reputations.
She has since said that even if she gets the job, she will decline it.
She said: “I just want society to respect us and have a bit of empathy for us black people.”