Why Did Allure Use a White Model to Demonstrate a Black Hairstyle?

by Kathryn Hensch

The latest issue of Allure has a feature on how to achieve hairstyles popular in the 1970’s. It includes an Afro, which was (and remains) a symbol of Black Power. To model this, they chose to use a white woman. The fact that this ran so soon after the much-publicized criticism of Rachel Dolezal is simply baffling.

There’s been TONS of backlash against this ridiculousness. Here’s some highlights:

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via Twitter

 Via Instagram

In response to this, Allure said, “The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as an individual expressions [sic] of style. Using beauty and hair as a form of self-expression is a mirror of what’s happening in our country today. The creativity is limitless—and pretty wonderful.”

The problem is that you can’t borrow an entire culture’s “creativity” and “self expression” because that white model doesn’t also take on the rampant racism that culture bears. If a white woman has an Afro, it’s chic. If a black woman has an Afro, she’s hit with hurtful stereotypes. As Instagram user thecurlydiva said, “ Everybody wanna be black but nobody wants to be black!”

Top image via: Instagram

Read more on BUST.com: 

5 Women Of Color To Remember This Black History Month

Little Girl Recreates Iconic Women of Color In This Incredible Photo Series

How Do We Talk About Rachel Dolezal?


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