The magazine's August 2015 issue includes a hair tutorial titled: You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro, which offers a step-by-step guide to recreating iconic 1970s hairstyles - including what Allure refer to as a "Loose Afro".
Not only did the feature not include a single black model, (the afro tutorial features white actress Marissa Neitling), it also made no reference to the political context of the natural style, worn during the American Civil Rights era as a symbol of black pride and equality.
The reaction? People are not happy...
Hey @allure next time you want to do an article on #awesomehair and maybe you should add some #diversity and try using a #blackwoman for the #afro instead of having a #whitegirlsdoitbetter moment... My afro is seen as unkept and unprofessional I'm constantly told that I need to do something with my hair but suddenly when a white woman rocks an afro its "ballsy and confident" talk about a double standard my afro is not a #fashionstatement it grows this way and society has no right to down me for it but tell a white woman that its an awesome hair style #myblackisbeautiful #teamnatural #kinksandcurls #nappyroots #allure #realtalk #blackhaircare #blackhair #nocreamycrack #curls #rizos #america #culturalappropriation #raceinamerica #doublestandards #race #alluremagazine
Allure magazine tweeted an explanation for their feature, saying they intended it to be "a celebration of self-expression", but this did not go down well with many commenters.
This is @allure's flimsy response to the #AllureAfro fiasco... frankly this apologize-later attitude makes it worse for me. I wonder who's self-expression are they so concerned with? (Well I know the answer to that but I want them to think about it) and who exactly do they plan to consult on future issues? Here are some things Allure can do 1. Hire women of color as editors and contributing writers 2. Make sure your staff read black & Latino magazines 3. Give actual women of color a presence in your magazine 4. Send whomever's stupid idea this was to an Undoing Racism workshop... So are some options to try and rectify this. #AllureMagazine #AllureAfro #NewMinstrel @Allure_Magazine #HairPrivilege
After posting the above tweet an Allure spokesperson told The Huffington Post the article reflects the level of self-expression "happening in our country today":
"The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story we show women using different hairstyle 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."
Does the feature reflect the ways women today are experimenting with their hair, or is it cultural appropriation?
Have your say in the poll below:
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