UK-based Blackhair Magazine has come under fire for placing a picture of a white model on their December/January cover. The publication is usually a place for black and mixed-race women to go for hair tips and tricks.
The model featured is Emily Bador, who took to Instagram to apologise and express her dismay at the image itself and the fact it was chosen for the cover. She explained to her 64k followers that the image was taken three or four years ago – when Bador was just 15-years-old – and hadn’t yet grasped the concept of cultural appropriation. “I would deeply and sincerely like to apologise to every one for this, and black women especially,” she said.
“I believe this shoot is from when I was around 15 and didn't understand cultural appropriation or the impact it has on POC. 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,” the model continued.
According to Buzzfeed, Blackhair Magazine’s editor Keysha Davis released a statement to explain how a white model came to be featured on their magazine. “We often ask PR companies/salons to submit images for the magazine, specifically stating that models must be Black or mixed race,” she said. “We can only take their word for it, and of course, try to use our own judgment.”
“We are only too aware of how black women are underrepresented in the mainstream media and the last thing we want to do is add to our erasure.”