On the left is an image from Vogue’s Haute Mess editorial. On the right is the photo that inspired it.

By LJ Knight of YeahSheSaidIt.com

Sistas, have you ever been in a department store, or maybe even at your place of work and have someone Caucasian approach you and compliment you on your hair, or even your unique clothes? It starts with maybe a few short glances and then it progresses into full blown lengthy stares every time you pass by them or enter a room. It is as if they are dying to approach you and discuss whatever it is about you that they admire but have no idea how to do so without seeming…. Racist. I mean you can literally feel their eyes follow you from one part of the room to the next as if they are burning on the inside with curiosity.

Stop and reflect on that moment that almost every Black woman has experienced at least once in her lifetime, and consider the most recent online Vogue Magazine spread titled “Haute Mess”. Being an obvious play on the slang term “hot mess”; Vogue’s Haute Mess featured White women stylized with colorful hair, colorful long acrylic finger nails, hairstyles that were decked out with weave galore, hair buns with the Oreo slogan spray painted in it. There were also big hoop earrings, two finger rings and over done make up that looked more campy than chic. My favorite was the Colt 45 can that one model was holding. I don’t know about you but that  made the bigot cake a tad bit sweeter for me.

My problem with images like these has and always will be the same. The wise old debate as to are they laughing with us or at us? In other words, is this coming from a place of great affection for a certain culture and their specific fashion? Or is this Vogue’s magazine way of mocking Black women? Maybe it is a little bit of both as they also recently did a shoot for Vogue Italia where they had sistas with natural hair. Which is a step forward but they still seem to lack consistency in how they portray people of color overall.

Let’s start with Vogue’s past. Vogue magazine does not have a lengthy reputation with seeing women of color as objects of beauty. In fact, it was only in the recent years that they began to diversify the ethnicity and look of their models to keep up with the ever changing times. Let’s face it, before that Vogue magazine couldn’t care less about what was going on in a Black women’s world. They damn sure were not concerned with  whatever fashion Black women were rocking. To put it in slang terms- Vogue magazine was not checking for the sistas. So what has changed?

Well to put it plainly- A lot. Apparently anything urbanesque is cool and if you are Black then you automatically earn ten “swag” points from the start. While this may appear to be a step in the right direction to some it still leaves me with some concerns. Namely the one I mentioned earlier is on the top of the list. Are they truly adoring our sense of fashion and edgy style or are they mocking us and this is their way of displaying how foolish we appear to them without directly saying it to our face.

While one can never truly know the inner workings of high powered fashion magazines and the going ons behind closed doors, we can surely guess. You see, this is not Vogue’s first run in with walking a hair fine line between offering accolades and paying tribute to Black women and being offensive and degrading towards Black women and viewing us as caricatures.The very last noteworthy offense was the Black face spread they did which did not sit well with readers who all wondered the same thing. Why the Black face? What was the point in conjunction with the theme behind the fashion and the clothes themselves? The clothes were not from an African motif. The models were not women of color. So, why paint their faces Black other than to incite controversy and whispers at the expense of playing around in the dirty backyard of America’s history with black face and what it TRULY meant for America not so many years ago.

This is where Vogue loses my co-sign. They are trying to desperately as of late to put out the image that they want to touch a wider audience and that they want to embrace the likes of women of every culture, background, and ethnicity. Yet they continue to do so insultingly. You want to have models with Black faces then hire some damn models that actually have Black faces. You want to celebrate the history of urban fashion from the 80’s, 90’s and so on then use minority women to highlight this time in fashion. Lakeshia and Mashonda were the ones rocking that breed of fashion at the time and not Susie or Laura. Even if they attempted to do so, we taught them how to make it look fresh. That is a fact and not an opinion dears.

While I’m on the subject allow me to vent a pinch. Why is it that whenever someone White partakes in something that was traditionally an African American feature or experience, it suddenly becomes sexy, hot, unique, attractive, and any other word that is an synonym for being a “positive” response? It upsets me to no end when I see this happen repeatedly in media, movies, TV, music, and now fashion. I have no problem with anyone giving props to Black women for being beautiful, unique, and trendsetters (We are amazing) and wanting to emulate us but give credit where it is due first before you either take bits and pieces of whatever appealing factors they find in our culture or attempt to mimic it but do so with a sly snicker or grin on their face while making the recreation itself clown- like. As if to say, you see- this is how foolish you look to us. Be clear and concise in your stance Vogue. Because right now you imitate Black women while also dissing us. Which is it Vogue?

Below are images from the Haute Mess editorial juxtaposed with real images of black women. The full Vogue spread is here. Ladies, what are your thoughts on this?

Deemed “the voice of the urban sophisticate woman”, LJ Knight’s style of unabashed, in your face tough love resonates with the everywoman like few else can because she doesn’t talk down from a holier than thou soapbox–she’s lived through the very same experiences her exponentially growing audience has. You can find more of LJ Knight’s in your face opinions at YeahSheSaidIt.com.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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251 Comments on "Vogue’s Haute Mess Editorial: A Not-So-Subtle Swipe at Black Women"

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shewhomustnotbeshamed
shewhomustnotbeshamed
I Kissed my teeth so hard when i saw this For all you guys saying that this is a segment of black society, we differentiate between ourselves but often mainstream white media does not. To them ALL black people are the same. we aren’t seen as individuals with different cultures and morals or even style just another black woman and all the stereotypes attached to black women are being attached to you. so when they laugh at these stereotyped women they’re laughing at YOU. yes YOU, no matter what school you went to or how well you speak they have… Read more »
binks
OMG YESSSS!!! To you, sam and a few others, I thought I was the only one giving the side eye to some comments. Whether or not these images depict you or not people will look at it as black culture. But my grandfather always said that the majority of us are on autopilot and have our heads in the sand, we aren’t so far removed that people see us and take us on an individual basis because we are still fighting for diversity in the media,fashion,etc. Get real they are laughing at us whether we represent these images or not.… Read more »
monalisa

I completely agree with this. Well said. That’s exactly how I feel as well. I know the difference but a lot of non-black people out there do not so they’re gonna look at those images and associate them with you even though you don’t leave your house looking anything like that.

shewhomustnotbeshamed
shewhomustnotbeshamed
For all you guys saying that this is a segment of black society, we differentiate between ourselves but often mainstream white media does not. To them ALL black people are the same. we aren’t seen as individuals with different cultures and morals or even style just another black woman and all the stereotypes attached to black women are being attached to you. so when they laugh at these stereotyped women they’re laughing at YOU. yes YOU, no matter what school you went to or how well you speak they have stereotyped you and they’re ridiculing you. you we aren’t in… Read more »
Nicole

But the thing is if they are laughing at me so what?? I just can’t deal with all these jabs and fight them off, I have better things to do than worry about what Vogue Italia or anyone thinks. I also think it’s VERY hypocritical of us to assume that ALL white people think this way… reverse racism 101.

Mai
I agree reverse racism 101. Black peoplemake fun of other races (think Dave Chappelle) but when the tables are turned on us, we get bent out of shape. It wasn’t funny when Don Imus said “Nappy Headed Hos” but when DL Hughley adds to that they were also ugly, it’s a joke and everyone laughs. No thank you. The site they homage to was started by a black person but it’s funny there. Vogue redoes it but now it’s offensive. It’s called being a hypocritic. And to the person that said its ok to laugh at your sister but strangers… Read more »
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU

*It was a figure of speech BTW, but that wasn’t the point I was making.
I’d rather someone say how they felt to my face than do it cowardly any day, but it’s completly different to be blatantly mocked out of ignorance than to joke, clown or what have you, with people who are from you ‘OWN’ circle. But to agree with one point you made, yes, ‘WE’ should be the ones enlighten ‘OUR’ people when they are off track. #Thatisall

shewhomustnotbeshamed
shewhomustnotbeshamed

there’s no such thing as reverse racism because black people aren’t in a position of power within the global society to excercise predujiced. and until there are more positive images and representations of the black women in the global community i will continue to be hypersensitive and overly critical.

shewhomustnotbeshamed
shewhomustnotbeshamed

but i was generalising with a very broad brush

shewhomustnotbeshamed
shewhomustnotbeshamed

which is wrong

anastasia

+1000

Zoopath

+1

Ogo

Ok, these images were published by Vogue Italia, so how to ppl know that they were not meant to offend? Also, how do ppl know that this is just an attack on “ghetto” culture and not an attack on Black women? Before you answer ask your: how much do I know about Italian culture? Have I ever even BEEN TO ITALY?

p.s. I have LIVED in Italy…interested to hear the responses from ppl caping for VOGUE ITALIA though.

soulsentwined

exactly, and why should these women be mocked for wearing their hair/nails how they please? If Lady Gaga did it they’d say she was creative and innovative.

Ogo

+1000

Ogo

Sigh. I am more disappointed in some of the comments than I am (disappointed) with the tacky Vogue spread. (I guess progressive Black consciousnesses are out of style.)

Yes, it was a jab at Black women. Why? Because pop culture does not separate “normal” Black culture from hood/”ghetto” culture. If it did, myself and many other young, educated, well-employed Black ppl would not be viewed as the “exception to the rule” of what Blackness is.

Sigh. But, no. Let’s chuckle along. We wouldn’t want to look “oversensitive”. Heavens no!

Ruz

Totally agree with you Ogo 🙂

anastasia

I hear ya Ogo!

Tuggar
I personally think when black women do those things (lace fronts, neon hair, and ridiculously long brightly colored nails, basically “hood fabulous”) it looks horrible. There is nothing cultural about being ghetto. When you look a hot mess, you look a hot mess period. Further more you leave yourself open to ridicule whether your skin is black, white, yellow or blue. Black folk poke fun at white folk all the time. And the second someone white says something it’s a great debate. Whether the photos where racially powered doesn’t even matter because you shouldn’t have looked a “Haute Mess” to… Read more »
sosoulful_0125

My opinion of these looks is they are ignorant whether it’s black or white sporting these looks. I cringe whenever I see people in the street who look like this. I don’t think it’s a swipe at black people and then again it maybe it is. But I think the less attention we provide to ignorance then it will not have any relevance. Just my two cents.

vanisha

It can be offensive to some.. but we need to stop fueling the flame. Ive seen too many posts dealing with race on this site.. its disappointing especially when you get to the comments of so many outraged black women : / lets just talk about hairrrr lol i miss the old site!

R. Kahendi
I think that this article leans too much on the side of generalization. Obviously, there are instances when the media portrays black women’s ideas of style/ fashion negatively. But there are also instances when they are admired as creative/ original. Where on earth did you get the idea that ideas only become hip, cool or sexy when they are adopted by white people? Black urban culture does tend to be looked upon as hip, cool or sexy. That is why it has had such an influence on American aesthetics and on global aesthetics. And, frankly speaking, that is how the… Read more »
Shug
They got they ideal that is it becomes cool or sexy from years of stealing our style. One example, rock ‘n roll was first black music but it didn’t become popular until people like Elvis and the Beetles took it. It’s not all creative forums are stolen, but there are documented cases where the majority steals it from the minority and claims it as their own. one thing I think people (not speaking of you directly)forget is that we can’t deny the past. People have a habit of judging a person first with their eyes and let’s face it, it’s… Read more »
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU

It might not be a jab at ‘YOU’ personally but it is a jab. Just like if my sister has a wierd style of dress, I can tease and make fun because we family, but I’ll be damned if someone ‘OUTSIDE’ the family threw a diss or insult! Yes, this is how the WORLD will see US. Vogue is huge worldwide. Wake up people.

anastasia
Love the name and the sign off =) LOL! Yup, so many of us colored folks have swallowed and enjoyed the taste of classism that it becomes so easy to say, “It’s not me they are talking about…I’m not like those black people”. This field/house mentality has been used quite successfully by us and by the majority population (also called the “ruling class”) to keep social, intellectual, and financial resources out of our most desperate communities and continues to effectively pull the wool over many of our eyes. Maybe it’s my age, but I do not subscribe to the lie… Read more »
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU

I agree +1000!!!

anastasia

BTW, for those of you who are interested in the nascent rise of “ghetto culture” and black “middle-class or upper-class culture”, for a lack of a better word, please check out anything written about the two major migrations up North and the convict lease system (which was slave based labor that wasn’t outlawed until the early 20th century, some scholars say mid-20th c.)In fact, for easy reading, “The Autobiography of Malcom X” provides some insight as well. Ok. Enough of this. Ciao ladies.

Ruz
The spread is inspired by the trends of a small minority of black females. I do not consider this ‘black style’ as neither I nor my family/friends dress like this and I feel that the looks are more ridiculous than stylish. Despite the fact that I do not associate myself with these women, I am offended. Why? -The images appear to be a parody rather than a burst of creativity. Just look at the settings they chose for the shoots. In my opinion, ‘Haute mess’ is very tacky. -The looks are inspired by black women yet the majority of the… Read more »
Siri

I just want to point out Vogue Italian had an a black issue a few years ago. It was done beautifully, tastefully, and it was very classy. The edition also had black models and not black celebrities. That is more than any other issue of Vogue. Italy isn’t a very PC country (I’ve been there) and they take jabs and not only themselves but other ethnicities and races. It’s not to be taken personally. It is just their culture.

R. Kahendi
I have to ask whether some of you guys have actually looked at what is typically worn on fashion runways. It is often clothing that nobody in the mainstream would wear in real life. “Fashion” is, in that sense, exactly what some of these black women are doing with their hair or clothing. It is unique, it is crazy, it is neurotic. And those could all be good things or bad things, depending on your perspective. In the world of art and creativity, neurotic ideas are the ones that are admired, and neurotic fashion trends like Ghetto Fab are considered… Read more »
Ruz
Heya R. Kahendi I understand your points. Of course we have all seen the styles on the runway but that is another (albeit related) context. I have been careful to state my points in a way that it is clear I am expressing an opinion. Different people have different views on creativity. I do not like the styles but that was not the reason I contributed to the discussion. I believe that the foundations and execution of the editorial are poor. Controversy is often thought to be a great thing in the fashion world, but if it could possibly be… Read more »
l.j

Did anybody but me notice it was ITALIAN VOGUE that did this article? Their ideas are a bit different from what we Americans call “PC”. No where did it say Hey look at thee black folks. I think it was funny and quite entertaining,especially because if i saw any of these styles out in public i would totally make fun of them.

flustertongue

I have no idea what Abi is talking about or what wearing twix wrappers in your hair has to do with Michelle Obama, or anything to do with the “thug” image—which went out in the mid nineties. Where is your head? Wow. Talk about stereotyping.

Elaine

Can we not agree that this is a segment of Black Americans? Not to mention a segment that is ridiculed on many many sites. This is not a swipe at black style, but a very specific segment. Does it reflect the diversity of styles? No, but neither does the authors outrage or identifying this as black style.

Abi
Wow, well all I thought looking at the pictures was, ‘white people laughing at and mocking black people again’. I’m from the UK and in the 60s and 70s there were actually shows on TV were white people would wear black face and act out and say crazy, stupid, “tribal” things like eating cat food and having primate level intelligence. But “sticks and stones”, “stop being oversensitive”. I’m so grateful people did get angry and do something or I, having been born in the 90s, would’ve grown up watching that and God knows how many other generations. Look at how… Read more »
soulsentwined

I agree with everything you said. This is another example of the media’s one sided stereotypical portrayal of black people

anastasia

@ Abi- I agree with EVERYTHING you’ve written.

Shug
I totally agree with everything you stated. Most whites can’t separate the ‘Laquisha’ from ‘Michelle O.’. I think that is the biggest concern. Most of the time this is due to ignorance and isolation. I thought the author brought up a valid question. Now, can I say this spread is mocking us? No! The reason is because fashion has always been crazy and the lack of creativity may have pushed them to steal from those who are trying to be more creative. I get upset just like you when it turns into STEREOTYPES. Now, with the availability of the internet… Read more »
anastasia

@ Shug: “Right or wrong, ignorance of the majority will prevail, if people don’t raise opposition.” 100% TRUE.

Rosina

I think the writer is basically over reacting. I think if we look for negativitity we are bound to find it in almost anything around us.

Its important for us black people to be happy with who we are, to be comfortable in our own skins/hair and accept ourselves as we are. Then we shall simply mind our own business and not be bothered by what other people think, say or even write about us.

Forget about vogue and whatever message they are sending to whoever,love and accept yourself, fullstop!

Written by a Black Woman in Southern Africa

The Natural Haven

I agree with you Rosina. I have to highlight this statement

Its important for us black people to be happy with who we are, to be comfortable in our own skins/hair and accept ourselves as we are. Then we shall simply mind our own business and not be bothered by what other people think, say or even write about us.

merry

this is a fantasy.

there is not group on earth that would go along with that.

The Natural Haven

Group thinking is a real human problem. Every individual needs to find values they like and reject those they don’t, it is a choice to believe what others tell you about yourself and any group you choose to affiliate with. You coul choose to believe differently and it will have a totally different impact on how you carry yourself in life.

CJ
I’m sorry but this isn’t a stab at all black women. None of those ghetto ass picture represent me and Vouge has every right to make fun of it. All of those pictures are ridiculous and a disgrace. Just because vouge is predominately white its racist and appalling but as soon as someone like me, a black girl, made fun of those ridiculous choices its funny and true. A hot mess is a hot mess, no matter who its pointed out to or by. Just like we say white girls with dreads and hillbillies glorifying missing teeth and bad hygiene… Read more »
FH

really…? no….. Blown way out of proportion. The whole thing was pretty cool, actually, and it definitely wasn’t meant to offend anyone. The spread was titled “Haute Mess” for a reason…it’s nobody’s fault that these women caught on camera looked kinda strange. But Vogue made it cool. I’d never even seen some of these. And the other ones….you could also easily say they were taking shots at Asian styles as well, or pop culture. Really not meant to offend, at all..

Ogo

How do you know that it was “really not meant to offend, at all”? Are you on the production team? Also, offense is like communication. It is not measured by the transmitter (Person A), but by the transmitted to (Person B).

suzette tobias
to be honest i did not read the entire article but i got the gist ,i could not care less about vogue however ,let’s be realistic the very long multi colour fake nails the over done make up two shades maybe three too light ,the five colour hair don’ts and the five inch long acrilyc toes, is it any wonder people laugh at us come on now be honest .some of us call each other niger which every one knows is a derogatory word but we do it any way another race calls us the same word and we get… Read more »
flustertongue

This was done by *Vogue Italia*, not Vogue “America”, so this has nothing to do with black america. Vogue perhaps should apologize on behalf of it, but perhaps Vogue Italia does not understand certain aspects in America…. Hey, it’s racist either way, but some countries are more ignorant about it and need to be schooled. So those complaining about American issues and such, it’s an Italian magazine not getting certain subtleties about American cultures. Someone needs to bring this to their attention rather than complaining and blaming the entire Vogue enterprise for it.

Bria

Really it doesn’t offend me because I couldn’t care less about what vogue thinks of me.

goodGrief
And this is why Racism persists. Black America we have bigger concerns within ourselves. If white people thought this was tacky they would fucking tell you. Cant you take the recognition? With minstrels like Nicki Minaj parading around for the entertainment of the people who write these articles how could you be so surprised and offended by a commentary on outrageous hair trends inspired by African american women especially since their platform in “Popular” music is so influential to all races? Dont be so paranoid, ignorant, and small minded to assume white people are always mocking the things you apparently… Read more »
RighteousTeacher
Accusing someone with an opinion of being “oversensitive” is the one-word cop-out of the decade! You know what “oversensitive” is? Overused, that’s what! And Insensitive too! I appreciate the writer’s opinion and personal observations. I think in the dominant culture there has always been a love/hate relationship with both the hot and the hot-mess aspects of black culture. I think the spread is funny, because it’s so outrageous & over-the-top. I don’t think it’s racist. I’d hate to have to go into a court room, for example, and argue that the spread is an insult to black culture. In other… Read more »
LaToya

Ok sorry, but these images ARE a hot mess! I dislike the same things! It does make me a little upset that white people are picking at them though. I can’t say “us” because none of this represents ME. But if it’s a mess, it’s a mess… Mixed emotions on this one

Cymone

Ikr! Its a screwed decision to pick on this one!

Cymone

“While I’m on the subject allow me to vent a pinch. Why is it that whenever someone White partakes in something that was traditionally an African American feature or experience, it suddenly becomes sexy, hot, unique, attractive, and any other word that is an synonym for being a “positive” response?”

This is somethin Ive been asking since I started grade school, & will continue to ask as a 22-year-old & beyond. All we can do is pray that this stupidity comes to an end tho

Jordan

I feel like they did this to get people talking. They always pull some ish like this & then issue a half ass apology. Whatever we do is always ugly on us & gorgeous on them; big lips, curvy bodies, hair colors, afros, the list goes on. This is infuriating. People only want to see people of color in one way, foolish.

Bethany
If that is all you focus on and pinpoint on than that is what you will get. This was on a culture as a whole. Which, is composed of all races. I think the people that are offended by it have it in their own mind that this is who the black culture is and foolishly fail to realize this is a whole population instead of just one race. And further more, this was vogue italia, maybe think that in other countries, since this culture is one in which draws more attention i.e Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga this is… Read more »
Ogo

ITA! They want attn!

opi

agreed.

Rachel B

i found this article to be funny and not surprising. i see this all the time around the area i live and it somewhat normal to see cuz ive been seeing it so much, some might be for hair show or the showcasing the talent the hairstylist has. either way this was funny i didnt find it offensive because ppl do stupid things if you put yourself out there you’ll get either positive or negative outcomes…

Alesia White

Perhaps they are trying to reach the black population and so it is an attempt to show they care.

shewhomustnotbeshamed
shewhomustnotbeshamed

O_o are you for real?

Meena Yusuf

I am not offended by this in the slightest. Why? Because I have nothing (other than pigmentation) in common with the women who inspired this editorial. The editorial says more about “rachetness” than it says about me. I don’t think this is a “traditional African American experience or feature”, I think this is only representative of one small subset of the Diaspora. To imply that is editorial is a “swipe” at ALL Black women is essentialism — the Black experience is vast and wide; and the rachet experience is certainly not mine. *no shade*

Auty

well said

Rami
“..are they laughing at us or with us?..” seriously you people need to stop being oversensitive. “They” are human beings, “us” are human beings “They” are americans, “us” are americans. Seriously this is a new year, when the hell will we stop this racial division. This post was obviously written to stir up controversy between white media and black media, written from a subjective view and “ladies, what are your thoughts?”-actually means, “ladies, cant believe they wrote this about us, it makes me angry, I know your on my side, so send the comments and prove me right..” So anyway,… Read more »
Dani
This was NOT a swipe at Black women at all. The original pic is ugly and ghetto as Hell. WTF is up with her hairline? I would’ve written the article if I worked for Vogue, too. I see women in general misusing fake hair and accessories all the time. Should I be offended that the exampple is a black woman? It’s a good example. I am a Black woman and have never looked like that and will NEVER look like that. I’m so tired of Black people screaming racism EVERY SINGLE TIME a black person is rightfully recognized for anything… Read more »
Nikki
To be quite honest I would NEVER EVER wear any of the styles of the women in these photos, and some are a HOT MESS, in my personal opinion of course, but to that I say to each her own. I will say, that I do grow tired of ALWAYS and I do mean always seeing the mocking of black culture. For all the women that bring up the point that it’s 2012 and we need to come off the “racist” kick I say just like in human nature a certain age does not determin whether that person is mature… Read more »
sasha

I think I understand the overall point that you are making. Despite racism we still have to critique the good and bad about ourselves. I believe that blacks should acknowledge that racism makes it more challenging to be self-reflective (within a group context). On one hand, the images are a hot mess and there are black people who are being represented. On the other hand, are non-black “hot messes” images presented in a high fashion magazine like Vogue? Aldo are the “worst” representation of non-black groups displayed in high fashion magazines?

Gerpha

YES.

Elle

Just my opinion…but if anything, this is a swipe at hood people, not black people. Also, I see that a lot of the corresponding pics are from nowaygirl.com, which is basically a site showcasing and making fun of people. So it’s okay for us to giggle about the site and pics but other people can’t? I think that the pictures are creepy if anything, but I did like the one with the cupcakes on top.

Rika

you have to realize that the influences that both of these publications have. nowaygirl does not have the audience nor the influence that vouge has. People see these images on such an influential magazine and if they do not know any better can take these images as truth. Being an older sister of two girls this is not what I want the world to think defines a black woman as my little sisters grown up because its not what they are.

Sequitta

Yeah, but this “influential magazine” has also featured women like Lady Obama, Beyonce, Iman, Tyra Banks, etc,etc,etc. In fact, you see more reference to Black women of that stature in Vogue and other publications of relevance than anything else. And then take into account all of the Black women you see on a daily basis in person! I highly doubt that people will see these images and think “OMG I didn’t know Black women like to wear candy wrappers in their hair!”

tiredofthebs
“has also featured women like Lady Obama, Beyonce, Iman, Tyra Banks, etc,etc,etc” MY RESPONSE That’s my point, that there are many positive Black women as well as positive images of Black women out there, and if someone chooses to see only the negative, I will not go out of my way to prove anything to them. “I highly doubt that people will see these images and think “OMG I didn’t know Black women like to wear candy wrappers in their hair!” MY RESPONSE I didn’t say that they would think that, I’m saying I could care less if they did.… Read more »
tiredofthebs
I understand what you’re saying. However, I refuse to live my life worrying about how ppl see me, regardless of race. Just like they see hoodrats they see Black women who are not, like Michelle Obama, Oprah, Beyonce, and Dr. Jemison. My point is that ppl see who and what they want to see, and are well aware that all Black women do not fit this stereotype. We have made too many strides and contributions to society (many which we have rcvd credit for)to be judged by the action of one. On anthr note, I am not naive to not… Read more »
Elle

I understand that, but the actual spread does not even show black women. Honestly, I wouldn’t have even thought of black women when I saw the pics unless I saw the side by side pics. Actually, even with the side by side pics…I didn’t think of black women.

hassan

Actually Joan Smalls, a black model is on the cover dressed in a similar #overthetop get-up! Although I don’t dress like this, I believe the black women that do are simply creatively expressing themselves. I don’t like that black women are labeled as “hood, ratchet, ghetto” but once white people embrace it, it’s now “trendy, art, fashion” This is another case of cultural appropriation and Vogue Italia is clearly mocking black women who dress like this!

Check it out
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/joan-smalls-vogue-italia-_n_1304332.html

Shay

Yeah I don’t think they are making fun of “us” but I do think they are making fun of a certain segment of the African American population. I find the spread annoying for it’s classist overtones the same way I would if they did a spread called “Trailer Parque Tony.”

Shay

and oops yes I know that’s the wrong “its”

Tammy

Yeah I don’t think that they are making fun of “us” either. I think it’s a mockery, however, of women who actually engage in these types of “beauty” enhancements. Whether the person is white or black, it’s obvious that the lace front looks ridiculous along with several of the other photos.

Gerpha

I think the spread is funny. I laugh at these things all the time–both when I see pictures of similar outrageous garb/mannerisms or when I witness them in public. It’s funny, not because the women are Black, but because of what they’re wearing. I’d still think it’s funny if the women were Hispanic, Asian, Native American, of mixed heritage, or White.

Nana

They even used hashtags… mocking black twitterisms. There’s always an uptick in racism when Black History Month ends.

Barbara

Oh no! not the sacred “black twitterism” whose last trending topic, I dared look at was “#to my future sideline hoe”

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