Blackface In 2013? White Model Poses In Editorial Spread Titled, “African Queen”

February 25, 2013  |  

Source: Numero

If you thought the days of Blackface were over, you are sadly mistaken. International fashion magazine, Numéro recently printed a two-page editorial entitled, “African Queen”, in which 16-year-old Caucasian model, Ondria Hardrin is depicted wearing heavy bronzer, as if the publication was attempting to pass her off as Black and many are wondering why? Why didn’t Numéro just hire a Black model?

Jezebel revealed that the same agency that represents Hardrin also represents several Black models. It’s unfortunate when Black models aren’t even considered for jobs that common sense would make most assume are for them.

“why hire a black model when you could just paint a white one!” blog Foudre said of the ridiculous spread.’

Now we won’t play ignorant, we know that there are White people living in Africa as well, but according to the Huffington Post, Ondria is from North Carolina and judging by the heavy amount of bronzer that she is wearing in the spread, it seems quite clear that the glossy was attempting to have her to appear “darker” than what she actually is.

I suppose this only serves as a reflection of the scarce number of Black models who are employed by the fashion industry. Jezebel recently reported that this past New York Fashion Week, 82.7% of the participating models were White, while only 6% were Black.

No one can say whether or not Numéro meant any harm by the model that they selected for the spread, but it appears to be the message that it sends to Black models and the world in general that people are finding to be offensive.

What are your thoughts on this?

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  • 4Olivia

    Obviously done for the publicty. Simply because there is no rhyme or reason to have done this, knowing that many people would be offended and ask the question “why?” Calculatingly irritating….but whatever.

  • rita

    I wouldn’t call this blackface, but it is really stupid and racist that they didn’t just hire a black model for this. I appreciate that italian vogue has all-black issues to show how high-fashion black models can be, but this mess shows the industry still has a lot to learn

  • links31

    PPl need to get it in their head, in a white dominated industry as this you could never expect black female models to out shin the white ones, nope, the white man will never go for that.

  • links31

    This is so not genuine. i mean seriously, when a magazine have to use fake models to imitate the real thing that is when you need to stop taking that magazine seriously. In 2013 why be a fake? Its almost like if white ppl have no form, or no kind of creativity other than to take a hook from other races of people and try paint it as their own.

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  • There should definitely been a black model doing this cover. Next, they know we are beautiful and they want to look like us so much, until they will take a chance on getting cancer to do it.

    • links31

      Yes, let them go to the tan machines to try get dark to then end up with skin cancer, i am all for it.

  • My problem is that it is so stupid looking

    • links31

      She looks more Chinese than black to be honest.

  • SMHgurl24

    Not insulted about it but the whole thing just looks stupid. The picture doesn’t shout African Queen, it shouts hot mess. Really this is high fashion?? Hmmm

  • Maldrie

    Why didn’t they use a White African? You know they do exist and I don’t want to hear anything about there being only colored Africans there because history was wrong, it’s not like those ignorant sobs back then took the time to explore Africa completely and it seems being an inconsiderate racist hasn’t changed any over the years. Forgive me I’m rambling trying to type as fast as I’m thinking,trying to express everything that’s coming to mind.

  • I thought they said she was just white?! I’m just now hearing she’s in BLACK FACE?! OMG WTF is goin on!? Stop with the black face already! It’s ugly and outrageously offensive! Just hire a BLACK model, they’re beautiful too dammit!

  • word

    I have zero issues with this! ZERO! Honestly i really don’t consider this ‘blackface’….i am actually flattered to be honest. Black face to me is when the ‘blackness’ is meant to be a joke or something degrading. The only gripe I have is that an actual black model has been slighted for the job….but as far as the racial undertone..I have no negative feelings towards this.

  • I think as a race we have bigger fish to fry. The real issues we have are within our community. If we paid half as much attention to the issues within our community like we do to the people outside of our community, we would be better off by now. Who gives a rat a$$ about white people imitating us? Who cares what they think? Our kids are killing each other. Black women and men are at each other’s throats. Our family structures are broken. That’s what we should be focusing our energy on. That’s what we should be really mad about.

    • Violetgray

      Tell that to the young girl in the magazine who’s getting the message that her features are too black to be a pretty black girl. There are bigger problems, but that doesn’t mean that these are insignificant.

      • SMHgurl24

        Maybe the parents of this girl should tell her that instead of leaving it to a bunch of strangers..

  • when we get to heaven, none of this color stuff is going to matter a hill of beans, however…..why not just hire a black model?? i mean it makes more sense than hiring a white model and bronzing her up.

  • Hang on: there are white Africans. South Africa, anyone? Zimbabwe? Anyway, WhatTheHellEver’s point is valid – but fair enough re the point MN is making which is equally valid. If the spread wanted to really be subversive, they should’ve had the model au naturel, picked a white woman from Zimbabwe or SA, but with the same motif – it would’ve drawn attention to the white-people-being-African-point. Now that would’ve been balls-out!

    • Fed Up

      The article clearly states that this particular model is not African. Additionally, the white people living in Africa are not “true Africans” in the sense of the word. The reason they live in places like SA is because of colonialism not because some Africans mutated and got blue eyes and blonde hair. An original African person is more than likely going to have medium to dark skin and wavy or curly hair. Even if they straighten the model’s hair, it is clear that in this ad the model being used is not an African. They can not use white people to portray Africans when they wont even hire us to portray ourselves. This is a mockery of Africa and an insult to Africans everywhere.

  • Martimar

    immitation is the highest form of flattery.

    • Many try to imitate, but none can duplicate the beauty of a BLACK WOMEN!!!

  • chanela

    who cares?!?!?!?! that’s all they want anyway is a white woman dipped in chocolate. it’ll save black women the money they would have paid for a nose job

    • word

      truth! look at ALL black glam models not high fashion…the ‘face ofs’ the popular black models….if not for their skin tone i would have thought they were Caucasian But that is our community…the closer to west african features..the more unattractive your are.

      • chanela

        seriously i’m over it already. it’s obvious that these people don’t want blacks. stop fighting it. why do we not have our own stuff already?

  • Jolene

    Not impressed. When are they going to feature real Black models in a positive light? I’m tired of seeing White women pose as African models.

  • What The Hell Ever

    Although the ad isn’t offensive to me, they should’ve just let her model with her original skin complexion. African doesnt equate to black and many people fail to realize that.

    • letty

      huh huh African does equate to black because the aboriginal people of Africa were/are black. Arabs and white ‘Africans’ aren’t the original people of Africa. African queen? is this some kind of joke? Now they wanna take that away from us as well?

    • Moon child

      This is true African doesn’t naturally equate to African (not black that is for US colored folk) but then she would be an Afrikan, not “African” which denotes the dark skinned Africans. If they want a representation of an African woman, then HIRE one, so she can get paid and it makes the editorial and the intention authentic and filled with integrity! Doing this is an age old insult to people of color! How about we hire an African model, Air brush her makeup to look white and call her a Nordic Goddess? Now would the white community be in an outrage over that? Of course they would. It’s time that these media slores stop abusing the system by perpetuating race wars in this country and keep it real! It’s 2013, time TO EVOLVE!