Blackhair Magazine, a publication that focuses on the beauty of Black women is responding to controversy after the mag featured a white woman on its December/January cover.
While the cover model does have curly textured hair, readers of the mag were confused because the model most certainly looks like a white woman.
She has since been identified as Emily Bador, who identifies as white and Malaysian.
Now, before you get mad at Emily — this wasn’t exactly her fault. She took to Instagram to explain that the photo featured on the cover of Blackhair was from a shoot she did when she was 15 years old. Emily also apologized for not understanding the meaning of ‘cultural appropriation’ or the impact it has on POC at the time of the shoot.
“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,” said Emily.“I’m upset and angry I was never asked by the photographer/hair salon/anyone if this image could be used for the cover Blackhair,” she added.
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 ????)
In addition to Emily’s apology, the editor of Blackhair issued an apology of her own.
We appreciate both Emily and Blackhair magazine for handling the mistake with such class. THAT is how you issue an apology!