I just found the photo series "African Queen" from Numéro magazine's March issue 2013. To my surprise, to illustrate this theme, the journal has chosen a white American model Ondria Hardin, and a makeup for the occasion that appears to be blackface. When are we going to stop replacing black models - already under-represented in magazines - for women in offensive makeup?
The model Ondria Hardin is blonde and has white skin. But a lot of foundation and a "tanning" effect were enough to transform this series of pictures that misleads readers. Incidentally, she wears clothing and accessories that, in the Western imagination, represents the "Black Beauty": "African" headdresses, necklaces, bracelets, prints.
Why not simply chose a black model to represent the "African Queen" series that is supposed to "celebrate" African beauty?
I doubt that an appropriate choice was unavailable. Worse, black models are under-represented in women's magazines and on the catwalks - Jezebel has found that 82% of the models in the last New York Fashion Week were white. This kind of editorial choice only heightens inequalities.
Through this petition, I demand an apology from the Numéro magazine and I call on the magazine's advertisers to withdraw their support if the magazine does not apologize and undertake efforts to give more room for black models in its pages.
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