By Angela Thomas
Following in the footsteps of US and Italian Vogue, W Magazine has released an all-black editorial in their March issue on newsstands now. The 8-page spread entitled “Feminine Mystique” features of-the-moment models Jourdan Dunn, Anais Mali, and Jasmine Tookes showing off the latest looks for spring in bold prints and funky statement jewelry.
It is refreshing to see such a tasteful spread featuring models of color in the wake of recent scandals in fashion including the Vogue Italia “Haute Mess” editorial in which (mostly) white models wore heavy makeup, long, brightly colored nails, and exaggerated hairdos that have been linked to black women. Their attempt to “poke fun” at a culture they did not understand was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but ended up being insulting to some.
In 2009, then editor-in-chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld, caused quite a stir when Dutch supermodel Lara Stone was photographed in blackface for the magazine. With the wide range of talented models of color who are currently working in fashion, one wonders why a black model wasn’t chosen instead of using a white woman painted black?
The controversy continued recently when the March issue of FHM Phillipines was released with fair-skinned actress Bela Padilla on the cover surrounded by dark-skinned models. The tag-line read, “Stepping out of the Shadows,” igniting such an uproar that the issue was eventually pulled from the stands.
The list of fashion faux pas keeps growing when it comes to blacks being represented by the mainstream media, which leads one to wonder, will they ever get it right? A lack of diversity in the editorial offices of these major magazines could explain why the same issues keep recurring. Which is why during these controversial times, the “Feminine Mystique” editorial is so tastefully refreshing. There are no gimmicks and no stereotypes. Just three black women doing what they do best: posing for the camera and looking beautiful.
All photos courtesy by Emma Summerton, courtesy of W Magazine.
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