“The modeling industry, @mona_tougaard says, has yet to adequately represent multiracial faces like hers. “We’re going in the direction, but we’re still not there at all,” she says. She recalls a moment backstage at a show when she requested makeup to match the other Black models.⠀
“Why do I have this white-girl makeup on?” she remembers saying. “And the [makeup] artist just looked at me and was like, baby girl, you’re not Black. It was really wrong…. I think that it was hard for her to place me because my hair is straight,” says Tougaard, who has found support from her agent as well as other Black models, including her girlfriend, Selena Forrest. The two have walked many of the same runway shows, from Dior to Givenchy. “We are so supportive and we are also really connected. We wish only good on each other because we want to see the Black community rise and be better and do better,” says Tougaard.