Allure Magazine is currently under attack for its recent blunder in the new August issue. The magazine featured a spread dedicated to “Retro Modern” ‘70’s-inspired styles and attempted to showcase the Afro and how to achieve it.
Here’s where they messed up…the magazine used a White model named Marissa Neitling – who typically wears her hair in straight styles – to demonstrate the afro look. Twitter and Instagram users are not only outraged, but confused as to why Allure made such a decision.
The afro hairstyle was originated by Black people and served as a significant form of cultural expression symbolizing Black pride and rejecting typical American beauty standards during the Civil Rights era.
That tidbit is common knowledge, right? So, it would only make sense to use a Black model for the spread, right? Well apparently Allure thought otherwise.
The title of the Afro editorial is, “You (Yes, You) Can Have an Afro…even if you have straight hair,” which is totally true and the stylist responsible for creating Neitling’s look actually did a great job transforming her long, sleek locks into a kinky-curly fro. However, the same point could and should have been demonstrated with a Black (or biracial) model with straight hair.
In addition, the type of "afro" in the spread speaks more to modern natural hair styles such as twist-outs and braid-outs as opposed to the type of afros worn in the 70's which were more about the kink and less about the curl.
Granted, the magazine’s general target audience is young, White women so they were appealing to their readership, but they did so at the risk of upsetting Black women all over the country.
They've also provided a blatant example of the cultural appropriation issue that has been a major debate throughout history and became even more prominent after the news of Rachel Dolezal posing as an African American woman made headlines.
Check out more Twitter responses below: