Vogue Publishes Blackface Spread

By Chris Hoenig


The fashion industry’s ignorance of the fact that Blackface is offensive continues, with Vogue‘s Italian edition publishing a spread featuring a model in Blackface.

The series of photos in Vogue Italia, titled “Abracadabra,” features model Saskia de Brauw in a variety of ethnic costumes and face-paint colors, including orange and black.

The photo spread continues a disturbing trend among fashion magazines, which ignore the offensive nature of Blackface. Vogue has published at least two spreads that feature models with painted faces, including a spread last year in its magazine in the Netherlands and a 2009 shoot in its French edition. Blackface models were also featured in spreads last year in Numero and Metal magazines. Jeanne Deroo, beauty editor at ELLE France, also posted a picture of herself in Blackface to her Instagram account late last year, and later said she didn’t realize her “costume” was offensive.

“I did not realize the seriousness of my act when I went last Saturday night to a private party with the theme ‘Icons,’ and where I chose to embody Solange Knowles, of whom I am a fan,” she said in a translated apology via Twitter. “I am deeply sorry and would like to offer my apologies. I would also like to indicate that this photo published in a private setting has nothing to do with the editing of ELLE magazine, and I regret the harm it has caused the magazine for which I work.”

Such a statement from a fashion-industry exec is rare, and why editors insist on continuing with such an offensive tradition instead of hiring Black models remains a mystery (though the fashion industry doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to Black models either, often lightening their skin).

The fashion industry’s ignorance turns a blind eye to the history of Blackface—originally used in theater by white actors to portray and mischaracterize Blacks—and has given many the belief that dressing in such a way is acceptable. Last year alone, multiple colleges faced the fallout from student parties that included offensive Blackface costumes. Actress Julianne Hough also publicly apologized for dressing in Blackface for a Halloween party. A Volkswagen commercial that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl also featured an actor in Blackface.

A YouGov poll released last November shows just how little many Americans know about the offensive nature of Blackface. More than 40 percent of those polled think the practice is acceptable, but the numbers show a clear disconnect between Blacks (68 percent say it’s unacceptable) and whites (32 percent say it’s unacceptable, 46 percent say it’s okay). Blacks (76 percent) and Democrats (58 percent) both think it’s unacceptable to portray any racial or ethnic stereotype in a Halloween costume, while more whites (44 percent versus 35 percent) and Republicans (59 percent versus 31 percent) actually think it’s more acceptable than offensive.

Latest News

California, board, corporate, directors

California Bill Would Mandate Racial Diversity on Corporate Boards

A recent California bill would mandate diversity in corporate boards for all companies headquartered within the state. The bill would ban all-white corporate boards and comes on the heels of a 2018 law that mandated women hold seats in all corporate boards. This racial diversity bill AB 979 defines “underrepresented…

Humana

Humana Reports Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results; Continues Proactive Relief Efforts Amid Pandemic

Originally posted on humana.com.  Ongoing actions to support its members, providers, employees, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the donation of an additional $150 million to the Humana Foundation to address social determinants of health in an effort to promote more healthy days and encourage greater health equity Reports…

BASF South East Asia joins ZDHC Foundation to Scale up Sustainability in the Leather, Textile, and Footwear Industry

Originally published on BASF.com BASF South East Asia now a “Contributor” in the Chemical Industry category of the ZDHC Foundation to help develop and implement chemical guidelines and solutions Haptex, BASF’s innovative polyurethane solution for synthetic leather, now certified ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® BASF South East Asia has joined the ZDHC…

AT&T Summer Camp

Originally published on ATT.com Welcome to AT&T Summer Camp For kids across the country, summer camp is something to look forward to all year long. It’s a time when they connect with friends, try new things, discover untapped talents and grow as individuals. This summer, we’re reimagining the summer camp…

Southern Company: Low-Income Natural Gas Customers to Receive $1 Million in Energy Assistance Support from Atlanta Gas Light

Originally published on southerncompany.com. Under a mechanism created by the Georgia Public Service Commission last year, Atlanta Gas Light is allocating $1 million for supplemental low-income energy assistance, which will be distributed to qualifying agencies that support customers who need help paying natural gas bills, repairing or replacing natural gas appliances…