There are many Black women who prefer to rock Blonde, fake hair and will come for your life if you dare suggest they are “trying to emulate White women.” On the flip side, there happens to be White gals who want to rock a curly fro… So what’s the big deal?
Allure Magazine pissed off some readers with its August beauty tip feature, telling White girls that: “You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro.” The article showcased a white model with a ’70s-style afro hairstyle, with no mention of its origins. As you would expect, the article prompted harsh criticism on social media, with some calling the piece “cultural appropriation,” and many questioning if the mag has a diverse editorial staff.
While defending the spread, Allure acknowledged the political significance the afro has had for African-Americans, telling FOX411:
“The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as an individual expressions of style. Using beauty and hair as a form of self-expression is a mirror of what’s happening in our country today. The creativity is limitless—and pretty wonderful.”
Sure, Allure, but not everyone is buying it. Allison McGevna, managing editor at HelloBeautiful.com, said the issue isn’t just about hair, it’s the lack of diversity inside the magazine. She also points out that the style is not even an Afro, but a twist-out.
“I don’t think that Allure necessarily meant to cause any harm or be insulting. I believe in the editor’s mind, it was actually a celebration, but that naïveté is really a major problem associated with cultural appropriation,” McGevna said. “Black female features are not simply a beauty trend. While celebrating an Afro hairstyle, which is absolutely something to celebrate, they should have used an actual Black woman, instead of painting freckles on a white woman’s skin and curling her hair so that she looks more ethnic.”
Noliwe Rooks, an Africana Studies professor at Cornell University, perfectly summed up the hypocrisy by reminding us how White folks love Black culture, just not on Black people:
“I don’t believe that anyone actually owns a hairstyle and whites have long tried to appear edgy and cool by adopting aesthetic elements from other cultures such as plump lips, butt implants, tan skin and even hair styles such as cornrows,” Rooks said. “Black people are often sent home from school or jobs for wearing braids or afros because whites don’t think such styles are professional, yet white women are told such styles are fashionable. It’s infuriating and the upset is about more than who owns a particular hairstyle.”
What do you think? Are critics overreacting or is this yet another example of cultural appropriation?
(Photo Source: Twitter)