Celebrity big chop social media reveals are fun. They’re an opportunity to celebrate black women who dare to shave it all and rock their natural texture, which is still a very counter cultural beauty move.

But model Winnie Harlow disappointingly and inexplicably used her big chop reveal to throw shade at South Sudanese model Nyadak Thot, aka Duckie, and it wasn’t long before the big chop itself was overshadowed, and then totally eclipsed by the drama that followed.

So how did this all start?

Over the weekend Winnie posted to Snapchat and Instagram revealing her cute new cut.

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Her sister, also featured in the weekend Snapchat, joked that her hair looked like a head full of curly fries. But the lightheartedness took a turn for the ugly when Winnie pulled up a photo of Duckie from her Instagram account and captioned it “LMFAO! WHAT ARE THOOOOOSEEEEE cauliflower ass head.” In the photo, Duckie is wearing her hair in a high ponytail with natural, curly edges.

Photo: Famelous.com
Photo: Fameolous.com

Check out the latest @dinosaur_designs campaign we shot just before leaving AUS 🐞

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on

As the backlash started rolling in, Winnie took to Snapchat to ‘apologize’. But oddly, following her apology, she insisted on Instagram that the “cauliflower head” joke was directed at her sister, not Duckie, leaving many to wonder why Duckie’s picture was even included in the exchange.

“I know what it feels like to be forced to do a lot of things with your hair that you’re uncomfortable with. As a black woman in the industry and as a black woman period, it’s hard to deal with your hair. Not a lot of people know how to deal with your hair. So please understand, from deep in my heart, I apologize if I hurt anyone’s feelings. I am human, I do crack jokes with my friends and family…”

Duckie responded on Instagram, expressing disappointment in Winnie’s behavior and revealing that managing her hair has been a challenge of her modeling journey.

“I remember shooting this Dinosaur Design campaign just before coming out here to the states. They called my agent at the time and asked if I was comfortable to shoot a campaign with my natural hair. She already knew what I was thinking but told me I needed to compromise sometimes. I won’t lie, I was extremely hesitant. I’ve never really had a good experience with my natural hair and modelling in Australia before. I remember on top model on one of the episodes I had to cornrow my own hair. I was extremely upset and embarrassed that they “didn’t know how” to cornrow my natural hair when at the end of the day that’s their job. I sat in front of the mirror silently crying before my shoot doing my own hair, cameras rolling while all the other girls had hairstylists, shit scared I was going to get eliminated because a few “hairstylists” didn’t know how to do their job. It’s not fun being bullied for something you can’t control and to have a top model woman of colour who I thought encouraged acceptance and self love call me out for rocking my natural hair, isn’t cool at all. Throw all the shade you want, but you played yourself with your cute little remark.”

I remember shooting this Dinosaur Design campaign just before coming out here to the states. They called my agent at the time and asked if I was comfortable to shoot a campaign with my natural hair. She already knew what I was thinking but told me I needed to compromise sometimes. I won't lie, I was extremely hesitant. I've never really had a good experience with my natural hair and modelling in Australia before. I remember on top model on one of the episodes I had to cornrow my own hair. I was extremely upset and embarrassed that they "didn't know how" to cornrow my natural hair when at the end of the day that's their job. I sat in front of the mirror silently crying before my shoot doing my own hair, cameras rolling while all the other girls had hairstylists, shit scared I was going to get eliminated because a few "hairstylists" didn't know how to do their job. It's not fun being bullied for something you can't control and to have a top model woman of colour who I thought encouraged acceptance and self love call me out for rocking my natural hair, isn't cool at all. Throw all the shade you want, but you played yourself with your cute little remark.

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on

All of this is disappointing and frankly a little bizarre given that Winnie’s ‘thing’ is body acceptance. As a highly visible model with vitiligo, Winnie often speaks out against bullying and the importance of loving the skin you’re in. Ironic, right?

Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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52 Comments on "Winnie Harlow Reveals Her Big Chop… While Shading Another Black Model’s Hair"

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HeavnsGirl

Winnie’s an asshole. She was one on ANTM and she’s still one. Eff that basic heffa. If she didn’t have vitiligo, nobody would be talking about her.

JenniMochi

Winnie has been crappy since ANTM. I was happy for her when she started getting fanmail from other kids with her skin condition, but I knew that she was still gonna be the same shady mean girl from Top Model. I’m just surprised it took people this long to see it.

AnonymousThouART

She has been crappy since high school she had the reputation of being less than friendly

bumper UK

I’m sorry, but looking like she does I am absolutely amazed that Winnie would speak negatively about another black model, especially when Duckie could have been really cruel to her if she so chose. It just goes to show that Duckie is the bigger person here and that some light skinned girls, no matter how they look, still think they are more attractive than a dark skinned girl! SMH!

Louise

There we go again! Really? What does being light skinned have to do with it?!
She has a bad attitude that has nothing to do with her shade of brown!

LittleBabyBug Jones

but winnie aint even light skinned though. she looks weird, with her skin condition, but light, she is not.

hamilj

Don’t come for my Duckie, that’s my girl. She’s genuine, positive and inspirational. Winnie showed her true colors with this one.

Neva Shabazz

That’s my girl too. I’ve been following her since seeing her audition for ANTM Australia on her famous sister’s youtube channel “Jamie & Nikki”. They are a truly a humble and beautiful family.

Kegz

Ever since top model, I never liked winnie behaviour

Yemi
Winnie’s non-apology just reeks of immaturity to me. None of us are perfect and I’m sure we’ve all made offhand remarks about other folks without considering the impact of our words. But the mature thing for Winnie to do would have been to apologize for being petty and trying to shame another black woman about her looks, instead of faking like she wasn’t mocking Duckie which she CLEARLY was. It just reads like she’s not that sorry about what she said but more concerned about trying to save face because she got called out. Like Duckie said, girl, we see… Read more »
Itumeleng

I am so tired of this crap. Why am I not surprised that its an African woman they had to make fun of. There’s trend among Western blacks to be ‘black and proud’ but their caveat is at least I’m not African.

To my fellow African sisters, hold your head up high. Lets rock our fabulous 4C hair and coarse edges with pride.

La Bandita

Anti Blackness is global. It’s in Africa, South America, America, Europe etc., She was wrong and I for one apologize to African girls and ladies. Also, Duckie is beautiful as well.

maralondon

She’s not Black and Proud she’s Black and immature. You just don’t behave that way if you have love for yourself as a Black person. Such a divisive comment.

Itumeleng

What part of my comment is divisive? Its a general comment about a well known phrase, and very applicable in this case, and those I have personally seen over and over in real life. This just happens to be a high profile case of it. Colorism exists, and its African women who usually bear the brunt of this type of ignorance.

Your comment is up there with white people saying racism is the preserve of the immature individual as opposed to an organized system and endemic attitude towards darker skinned races.

THINK!

maralondon

I think you need to read your comment again. Maybe you don’t mean it to sound divisive but it most definately is. This situation is not one of racism but ignorance because Winnie happens to be Black herself directing ignorance towards another black female. Naomi Campbell herself a dark skin model treated Tyra Banks horribly when she was just starting out, it’s well documented. She has since matured and publicly apologised for her behaviour in person to Tyra. Just for the record I’m not down with the white man’s definition of something they created.

Anna Doe
Hmm, Itumeleng’s right. Let’s be real here and call it divise if you want, but it is true: 1. In the US, when you use the word “black”, you only mean AA, You don’t include African immigrants leaving in the US nor Afro-Latinos, that you lump with Latinos. 2 Yep, Winnie’s comments can be understood as colorism directed towards a dark-skinned girl, which on top of everything, happened to be African. 3. There are lots of people in the Americas, people of African descent, who still think that they’re better than actual Africans. They mock the latter’s hair texture, skin… Read more »
LittleBabyBug Jones

It is not a divisive comment. There still are pockets of black folk in the USA who believe that African-associated features/looks are inferior. I don’t think it’s most of us, as no one i’ve ever known or befriended has ever said anything hurtful about Africans, but colorism dictates that those closest to black origins will bear the brunt of the burden. It’s not divisive to point that out. If you say that, you’re deflecting, plain as plain.

maralondon

There are black folks everywhere who think this but they forget they also carry those same features you are referring to. I’m fully aware of the isms and scims among us and her and your comment further promote the ignorance we can’t seem to shake of.

kxlot79
To compare a Black person pointing out colorism among Colored people to White people minimizing the magnitude of racism is a bit of a stretch. I agree with maralondon that your generalizing that an attitude of “Black and Proud” excludes Africans is divisive. Many American Blacks have experiences being demeaned by African and Caribbean Blacks, and the reverse is true too. I won’t knock your experience of encountering American FAKE “pro Black” individuals who have behaved contemptibly towards you or African people you know. But I think it’s divisive and destructive to allow hotep/hotepa types to be the representative of… Read more »
justtwo post

Those of us who are on that “black and proud” tip don’t think like this at ALL. Trust me. Winnie Harlow doesn’t represent those kinds of African-American women just because she went natural. There are a lot of black women who have gone natural and rock afrocentric style and are still self-hating. Winnie Harlow is one of them.

bsbfankaren

Colorism in the black community has an ugly habit of rearing it’s head.

La Bandita

Colorism should be called what it is Anti Blackism.

LittleBabyBug Jones

agreed. I’m going to start using that from now on instead of colorism. It is very much anti-black, and i am quite tired of it. We should know better by now.

kia

my exact sentiments

PurpNGold1

I would’ve never guessed Winnie was such a FAB considering the positive message she puts out. Ew.

Atypically Normal

While not relevant to the topic at hand, Duckie and Winnie are very cute unique names.

La Bandita

Not Winnie remember Winifred Mandela? Winnie is the nick name version.

Karminia

It might have been a reference to an inside joke, I get that, but the shade was uncalled for. Seemed like she was using Duckie in order to dodge the hate (which I don’t get, her hair looks good). She should have worn it with pride and left it at that.

KnowledgeIsPower
1/4 on one hand and 3/4 on the other. On on hand we ALL have seen a super dramatic/weird/outlandish/odd picture and wondered: “WTH” and proceeded to talk ish abt it. On the OTHERHAND, looks like Winnie was directly on this woman’s instagram (and dissing, captioning and snapchatting!) <– Which is a direct shot fired. Only MY network would care if I snapchat that post. But as a "celebrity"/high profile person, every diss, or sly remark made of another person, in a PUBLIC arena, is like using a bullhorn/megaphone. You have a platform, "followers"/ fans etc who repost/share your comments. Winnie… Read more »
Mka

Can’t say I understand the whole ‘cauliflower’ reference…

kalexa1

She’s making a derogatory comment on Duckie’s hairline not being straight but rolled up in tight curls. Seems to be saying she somehow thinks she’s ‘above’ this type of black hair. Speaks volumes doesn’t it?! She’s out of order – and messed up.

Riak Mary

me too, it doesn’t make sense or is it funny.

KnowledgeIsPower

IKR?!

Reese

smh!!!!! it may have been “just a joke” as Winnie is claiming on social media now, but this revealed her true colors. She may blast self acceptance and body positivity but clearly inside her heart she is jealous, envious of other famous black women, and sadly petty. this is a damn shame, and I will probably not be able to view her the same.

justtwo post

I’m not surprised at all. Winnie Harlow gave all those white women who were putting that makeup on their face to look like her a pass. People were saying it was blackface and she was like it’s okay. When I saw her go against her own people and give white women a pass I knew what the deal was.

Kirstin

Not surprised, a lot of newly successful people forget how they were treated after they made it. #ImWithDuckie smh

Claudette UK

The Sudenese model is stunning.

Riak Mary

South Sudanese** We’re 2 different countries.

DeviantSole

I appreciate the knowledge. So many people make reference to Africa as though it is a country & not an entire continent!

Taylor Dawn Humphrey

OMG lol

Riak Mary

People always put us together but we’re free from their dictatorship so yea. They were literally trying to kill us all of, not that we’re better on our own, we’re still trying to kill ourselves but at least we’re free from the Arab Sudanese

naughtycorner

Most people dont care , the same way they cant tell whether you are from North and South Korea .you really expect the average person to know or care about this ?

La Bandita

She has a home. She’s helping us be woke. They were almost massacred by the Arabs. Education is your friend.

Riak Mary

Never said that I wanted anyone to care and yes you can tell, the North are Muslim and Arab while we’re not. Pretty sure you’d be frustrated if people kept putting you and your enemies together or kept calling you something you’re not so shush

Bella

She’s just making it known. Nothing wrong with that. And really understandable considering the crap the Arab Sudanese did to them…

Riak Mary

Thank you!!

deyna

I think that celebrities at the end of the day are human and can be very immature. While I don’t doubt Winnie was joking with her sister it doesn’t make her comments any less anti-black.

People very rarely consider the human beings in the memes they use or “check themselves” on their jokes or thinking…why would you? If no one calls you out you’ll never think you’re wrong.

I definitely agree that a positive moment got over-shined by “shade” and pettiness which was 200% unnecessary.

kalexa1

She appears to have known exactly what she was doing, and her derogatory remark speaks volumes about where her mindset is at.

Riak Mary

Duckie is so beautiful. Winnie’s apology is phoney and an excuse. She’s just jealous that Duckie is another black girl serving extreme black girl magic. It’s like what happened between Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. Duckie is a great person inside and out. South Sudan rep!! You go girl, she’s the bigger person in this. We need to support each other and not drag each other down, there’s already enough of bashing of us from outsiders. I’m done with WInnie. Hope she learns something from this.

maralondon
I’ve witnessed this kind of behaviour personally whilst studying Fashion. A group of friends and myself took it upon ourselves to comfort a model who also happened to be Sudanese during our fashion show. She was being bullied and ridiculed by some other black models and we could see how upsetting it was for her. We were so disappointed by their ignorance because we of all people should know better, if anything we should be looking out for each other. I get the industry they work in and how cut throat it can be especially if you’re black but we… Read more »
Ekanmasphoenix

I totally agree with your comment. To be really honest, I never thought Ms Duckie as beautiful. Different yes but not beautiful. Now the question is what exactly is beautiful? It’s not what we can see on the outside and she just proved it with her response to this lady’s so called joke. That is what I see as beautiful and from today I have massive respect for Ms Duckie.

maralondon

To me Duckie is beautiful from the shade of her skin to her doll like features and this is the first time I’m hearing of her but yes beauty is skin deep and has a lot to do with ones attitude.

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