Who would have thought that you could look at a magazine cover that clearly says “Black Hair” and see a white British model with a fro?
Well in this day and age you can! Model Emily Bador a model from the U.K., a white woman blew the whistle on herself and the magazine “Black Hair” when she took to Instagram to offer a sincere apology for her unknown involvement in what we could call appropriation. Her image was used on the cover of Black Hair magazine without her permission.
Read her apology below:
I would deeply and sincerely like to apologise to every one for this, and black women especially. I would like to clarify, I believe this shoot is from when I was around 15 and didn’t understand cultural appropriation or the impact it has on POC. I was uneducated, which obviously is no excuse, ignorant and immature.
Growing up in a very very white city, I had no idea the struggles black women face and how often they were persecuted for their hair. I didn’t understand how black women are constantly told their natural hair is inappropriate/unprofessional for the work place, or how young girls are told they can’t go to school with natural hair.
I didn’t understand that shoots like this support the very Eurocentric beauty standard that the mainstream media focus on which reinforce the idea that black features are only ok on white women. I didn’t understand that as a white passing woman I’d be praised for this hair, but if I was a black woman I’d be persecuted. I didn’t understand cultural appropriation.
I do regret doing this. I hold up my hands, I’m so so so sorry and I’m very sorry this cover was taken away from a black woman. This image is (I think, although I’m not 100% sure) about 3/4 years old, it was never intended to be on the cover of this magazine. If I had known it was going to be published, I would never have condoned it. I’m upset and angry I was never asked by the photographer/hair salon/anyone if this image could be used for the cover Black Hair.
I’m so glad I’ve educated myself and surrounded my self with people to teach me what is right and wrong. I constantly am learning and becoming more and more informed. It’s important to come forward and be honest with ourselves about our past mistakes, otherwise we will never learn.
Again, I’m truly, deeply sorry to anyone I’ve offended and I hope if nothing else this post can educated others so they don’t make similar mistakes. (also please let me know if I’ve said anything wrong or offensive in this post!!! or anything i can add!!!! i love u all sm and the last thing i want to do is offend or hurt any one, i really hope you don’t all think im a massive twat ????)
Her community and everyone who read this apology thought it was a breath of fresh air, a truth moment if you will because finally someone gets it! On the other side of the coin Black Hair claimed ignorance on the whole thing, saying they did not know Emily was white.
Here is the statement they made on the issue:
“We often ask PR companies/salons to submit images for the magazine, specifically stating that models must be black or mixed race. We can only take their word for it, and of course, try to use our own judgment.”
Hard to believe that they would not have an image of a black woman with an afro submitted…. but ok! What do you all think about this whole thing? Comment below!