Numéro Magazine Apologizes For ‘African Queen’ Spread Now That They’ve Gotten The Publicity They Wanted

February 27, 2013  |  

From BlackVoices

Numéro Magazine has found itself in the middle of a racially-charged firestorm after using a highly bronzed white model in one of its fashion editorials entitled “African Queen.”

In the spread, Ondria Hardin, a 16-year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed model is seen with darkened skin, striking a pose for the glossy.

The Huffington Post reached out to the magazine for comment and received the following statement Wednesday morning via email:

Read the statement on

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  • Daijana

    I must say (even though it should be obvious) this is a lot more off putting to me because of the fact that
    she’s obviously suppose to be portraying a black woman as if we’re
    extinct or something and to put the icing on the cake she’s a queen of Africa! In all honestly if i was being handed a blonde wig and blue contacts I’d be furious, but then again I value myself and respect others.

  • If it were a white woman born and raised in africa would there be the same backlash? charlize theron is south african.

    • SMH_shameonitall

      No because Charlize Theron is WHITE. Her being from South Africa does not make her African in terms of ethnicity. In addition to that, I doubt she’d participate in a photo shoot like that and allow herself to be called an African Queen.

  • StuckInDaMatrix

    Well, the way I look at it. A sizeable number of African-American/Black women try their best to look European (straight weave, colored contacts, nose jobs etc..) So.. being that that is the stereotype of black women, you cannot really get offended. Because since you in essence “gave up” your looks you give up the right to be offended by default. So they are just giving you what black women feel about themselves subconsciously anyway!

  • Bubbles

    When I look at the model I feel embarassed for her. Personally, I would have left the shoot. I believe that everyone should understand the concept of being a human. I don’t care about the opportunity that modeling has, the whole photo shoot is depicting a negative stereotype. I have as an educator in the south fought hard against ignorance even until this very day. People are conditioned to believe that this is not wrong, well to tell you the truth it is. People try to brush it off and say you stop being offended, but if this was the other way around where a black chich was painted white and eating crackers and in overalls there would be backlash. Overall to have herself painted with bronzer as well as have African clothing on indeed depicts blackface sterotypes. The magazine knew what they were doing. It wasn’t like they were going for a photo of her in England wearing clothing from Elizabethan era and having white powder applied to her body. Truth is the news editors knew that they can get away with it because, they always have been able too. Blacks get offended by the stupidity which in fact it is. To conclude this is not right for anyone to depict another person’s culture in a derogatory way such as this example. Even if people say it is suttle it is still racism that this magazine is able to get away with. Karma, remember that Numero.

  • Andrea

    Let me start off with I dont think that Número should be putting blackface on white models and calling them African queens in their magazine. With that said why are not holding others accountable as well. I love to uphold our sisters doing great work, but I used to watch Americas Next Top Model and on those shows Tyra would have white girls model in black face. So when a black woman is doing this and not a peep is said. We can’t be surprised when magazines think its no problem to do the same thing.