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Friday, 5 April 2013

A White Model Painted Black For "African Queen" Photoshoot

A French magazine has come under fire after it darkened the skin of a
white U.S. model and photographed her for an editorial spread
titled"African Queen."
The magazine in question is Numéro, and the model in the spread from
theMarch issue was Ondria Hardin.

Many critics including myself wondered why they didn't use a black model.

A former model, Cynthia Bailey thought the model was bronzed, until
she read the title of the editorial.

"That's when I questioned, is this a black girl? Or is this a white
girl? Once they decided to make the concept of the story 'African
Queen' there are so many beautiful African-American models or African
models that they could have used for the story," added Bailey, who
runs the Bailey Agency School of Fashion in Atlanta.

In a blog on Jezebel , a website that focuses primarily on women's
issues, Laura Beck wrote: "Maybe it's becausethe magazine just
couldn't find a black model? Maybe there are none, and it's just not a
profession that appeals to anyone but young, tall, skinny, white
girls? They're probably the only ones who enjoy traveling around the
world and getting paid tons of money to be pretty?"

The magazine issued a lengthy statement to the media in which it
apologized for any offense but strongly denied the allegation of
racism or racial insensitivity.

Photographer of the shoot, Sebastian Kim, who is the architect of
everything, also released a press statement,

"We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her
skinblack. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part
of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot. It saddens me that people would
interpret this as a mockery of race," he wrote.

"I believe that the very unfortunate title 'African Queen' (which I
was not aware of prior to publication) did a lotto further people's
misconceptions about these images. It was certainly never my intention
to mock or offend anyone and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who
was offended."