Allure is catching some serious flak for a spread in its August issue that began circling the Internet today, reports BuzzFeed. The story displays several '70s-inspired hairstyles, from bowl cuts to long bangs, but the magazine is getting heat for its choice to use a white model to show off the "loose Afro."
You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro is the title of the story that instructs readers with straight hair on how they can achieve the look. While I don't think the story was meant to be insulting, I do think the editors' intentions were misguided. It is meant to highlight the style, sure, but why not use a Black model with straight hair to illustrate it? (There were zero models of color in the story to begin with.) What about using it as a way to speak to readers who wear their hair in a 'fro daily? Since the story focuses on the '70s, a time when Black women wore their hair naturally as a symbol of pride, at least Allure could have mentioned the history behind the style.
The magazine has issued a statement surrounding the backlash: "The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as...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."
We could wax poetic about the dangers of cultural appropriation (and, trust us, we have), but we'll let the internet speak to this one. See some of the reactions below, and let us know your questions, concerns, and opinions in the comments.
Questions that deserve answers.
Actress Amandla Stenberg speaks eloquently to the dangers of cash-cropping here.
You've been warned.
Ugh. But seriously, we were all thinking it.
They're not the same, guys.