French Vogue‘s 13 page spread caused outrage earlier this week and I’m sure, by looking at the image above, you’ve noticed why. The October issue of the magazine features 4 photographs of 25- year- old Dutch model Lara Stone with a blacked out face and body. The spread was shot by Steven Klein and ‘ethnically’ styled by the magazine’s editor Carine Roitfeld.
Some say it’s an interpretation of high fashion but painting white people black for the entertainment of other white people is so inextricably offensive that it stands entirely apart from cultural context.
Ironically, the issue, which is promoted as the Top Models Special, doesn’t feature any black models. This clearly communicates that they’d rather hire a European/white model and turn her black rather than actually hire a black model- it’s not as if they’re lacking in numbers. It’s a shame but the issue of racism in the fashion industry feels like a broken record.
Speaking of regression, this YouTube video of an Australian blacked out Jackson 5 tribute act also raised a few eyebrows this week. American singer and actor Harry Connick Jr, who was a guest judge on the Australian variety show expressed his shock: