Blackhair magazine is facing epic Twitter backlash for accidentally putting a white girl on the cover of its magazine. The style rag, described as a publication “packed with hair inspiration for black and mixed race women,” apparently didn’t ask if the young woman, Emily Bador, who graces its December/January issue, is actually Black.
Twitter is not pleased with this. Not pleased at all:
But don’t blame the model. She says she had nothing to do with this mess — that the photo in question is nearly four years old and the photographer who took it never asked her permission to sell it to Blackhair. She does apologize (admirably) for taking a picture that appropriates Black hair in the first place.
“I would deeply and sincerely like to apologise to every one for this, and black women especially. I would like to clarify, I believe this shoot is from when I was around 15 and didn’t understand cultural appropriation or the impact it has on POC,” she wrote on Instagram. “I was uneducated, which obviously is no excuse, ignorant and immature. Growing up in a very very white city, I had no idea the struggles black women face and how often they were persecuted for their hair. I didn’t understand how black women are constantly told their natural hair is inappropriate/unprofessional for the work place, or how young girls are told they can’t go to school with natural hair. I didn’t understand that shoots like this support the very Eurocentric beauty standard that the mainstream media focus on which reinforce the idea that black features are only ok on white women. I didn’t understand that as a white passing woman I’d be praised for this hair, but if I was a black woman I’d be persecuted. I didn’t understand cultural appropriation.”
She continues, “I do regret doing this. I hold up my hands, I’m so so so sorry and I’m very sorry this cover was taken away from a black woman. This image is (I think, although I’m not 100% sure) about 3/4 years old, it was never intended to be on the cover of this magazine. If I had known it was going to be published, I would never have condoned it. I’m upset and angry I was never asked by the photographer/hair salon/anyone if this image could be used for the cover Black Hair.”
Teachable moment for all involved, it seems.