You might have been sitting at your desk at work wondering to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if it’s a good idea now for fashion magazines to hire Caucasian fashion models and smear their faces in blackface paint.” I am here now to put your mind at ease. No, it’s still not a good idea. You got that, Vogue Netherlands?
The magazine’s May 2013 issue depicted light-skinned, Dutch model Querelle Jansen wearing a dark black face as she poses in homage to dancer Josephine Baker (right) and model/actress Grace Jones (left). (Both were inspirations to Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton collections, fall 2008 and spring 2009 respectively.) Yet instead of hiring actual, you know, black models, the magazine used a white model in blackface.
Vogue realizes that actual black models do work in the fashion industry, right? It’s not like they are unicorns. [Clutch Magazine]
This spread in Numero magazine is a headscratcher. Why did they hire a white model and cover her in brown makeup instead of just hiring a brown-skinned model? Or is she supposed to be a white woman in Africa who is, for some reason, Tanning Mom-level tan? Numero likely knew that photographing a 16-year-old white girl in heavy brown makeup, wearing colorfully printed clothing, next to the words “African Queen” would get people upset about blackface. And it worked. [Clutch Magazine]
Listen, if you really have to be reminded that blackface is both culturally insensitive and just plain tacky, well, you’ve got problems. But just in case, students at Ohio University created a special campaign, helpfully reminding that blackface — even on Halloween — is in REALLY BAD TASTE. The kids from Students Teaching Against Racism (STARS) developed the “It’s a Culture, Not a Costume” series which features real pictures from a totally offensive Clemson University “gansta” party. But let’s hope you — and your friends — don’t really need the reminder. [Good Magazine]
Beyoncé in blackface? I never thought those three words would be in the same sentence. But yes, Ms. Bootylicious has darkened her light skin and thrown a scarf over her head for a L’Officiel Paris campaign. Is Beyoncé trying to make a statement that dark black skin is beautiful? Is Beyoncé trying to make a statement that wearing a headscarf is beautiful? Is Beyoncé simply trying to be “provocative,” whatever that means? Who knows. Personally, I always wonder why ad campaigns or photo shoots that go the blackface route don’t just hire darker-skinned black models (instead of, say, Caucasian model Lara Stone). It’s all well and good to say “black is beautiful,” but if you’re not actually putting money in dark-skinned black models’ pockets, what’s the point? I am, however, just a white girl from Connecticut, so I’d be curious what Frisky readers think of Beyoncé in blackface. [BuzzFeed] Keep reading »
Ah, blackface. It’s baaack. Apparently, as magazine sales plummet, editors try ever more provocative ways to grab the attention of readers on and offline. The latest? This decidedly politically incorrect spread in L’Officiel Hommes in which a bunch of Caucasian male models get painted a darker shade and outfitted with Afro wigs in order to pantomime being African-American. The racially charged, er, “story” is entitled “Keep It Goin’ Louder,” although what that has to do with racial passing is unclear. Get a gander at the rest after the jump and then sound off in the comments. Keep reading »
ET Online has posted photos from tonight’s (?) episode of “America’s Next Top Model” in which Tyra has the models, uh, transform to look biracial, which means many of them pose with blackface. So hot right now! Of course, if Tyra were writing this post, she would be quick to remind us that she was ahead of the curve — in Cycle 4, which aired in 2005, the models dressed up as mothers of other races and there was some blackface then too. Check out a few more images, after the jump. [ET Online] Keep reading »