September 22 is Shari Belafonte’s birthday.
Shari Belafonte was born on a day when the sun was transiting the final degree of Virgo. It didn’t move into Libra until just before noon on the next day. Although I don’t have a rising sign for her, I can confidently state that she is a Virgo with Leo moon.
In her 1980s heyday, when you couldn’t turn around without running into another magazine with Belafonte on the cover, she was already pushing thirty. Also, she wasn’t white.
It was at that time that I formed my own ideas about the inclusivity of the fashion business. Western culture was quite inclusive back then — right through the early nineties. Then it took a big step backwards. I can remember defending the business itself when labels were being criticized for never using black models, but that was because I was idealizing the era that gave birth to my interest in fashion. This was the time of Shari Belafonte on the cover of American “Vogue.” If she could do it, anyone could, right?
Not exactly. I guess that’s why I can look back at Shari Belafonte’s accomplishments now and see just how groundbreaking they were.
I pulled up her chart to see if there was anything that would indicate a pioneering spirit. What I did find was something more interesting: a fateful aspect that thrust Belafonte into the spotlight whether she wanted to be there or not. Belfonte has her natal Mars exalted in Capricorn conjunct her north node. If I had a time of birth to place it in a particular house, I would suspect it to be located somewhere consequential — on an angle, or maybe in her first house.
Mars conjunct the north node not only imparts an individual with drive and determination, but also with a sense of purpose or destiny — like they were born to do big things. Depending upon where it lands in the chart, that drive can be a conscious force that leads an individual toward greatness, or something more instinctive. In Capricorn, it can be an indicator of near-perfect timing.
To say that Shari Belafonte was born in the right place at the right time diminishes her accomplishments. Nevertheless, I don’t know how successful she would have been if she was trying to break into the modeling business twenty years after her first “Vogue” cover. It was a different world back then, and not the world that I grew up in. I’m happy that the pendulum has swung back to a place where a girl who looks like Shari Belafonte can get all the work she deserves. I hope that things stay like this.