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So earlier this week I spotted these pictures from the March 2013 issue of Numéro Magazine floating around the web titled ‘African Queen’. I personally thought and still do, think these pictures are quite artistic in a high fashion sense of the word. The head wraps are bad ass and the garments chosen I feel are extremely chic and serve the purpose of what this shoot is portraying.
There seems to be a lot of controversy developing around the images as the model used is a white, blond haired model called Ondria Hardin, heavily bronzed to what some are calling ‘black face’. Here are my thoughts on all the hoopla; I think it can be quite difficult to establish if a company is celebrating or mocking black woman and men by imitating ‘us’ in imagery. European magazines especially I feel seem to go up to the mockery/offensive line a lot in their publications and sometimes cross it. This I feel is especially true of French, Dutch and Italian magazines, in more so an ignorant way than with malicious intent.
The black community for all intense and purpose seem to go over every image that is felt relates to us in anyway with a fine tooth comb, seeking out something wrong, something we feel is offensive to us. The model in this particular shoot is made up to fill a role to capture a specific look. I really don’t see this as them trying to make her look black and I certainly do not see “Black face” as she clearly still looks like a white woman. Just a white woman that has a really good tan. Woman, black and white are bronzed and lightened for film roles, photo shoots, adverts all the time. What is the biggie here? If the two words African and Queen were not present, would this have been so much of an issue for the black community? I personally feel this shoot is very tastefully done.
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