A fashion magazine called Numero shows a cover on their March 2013 issue that has a White American woman painted in Black face and the spread is titled “African Queen.” I will not even post the picture on my blog because I don’t want to have to look at such an offensive misrepresentation of my people on this blog, but you can look at it on the link.
Numero must have been trying to sell magazines by being controversial because there is no way they can be serious with this bull sh*t. This is going to the extreme.
We live in a world where the media shows stereotypical images of Black women. We’re always portrayed as sapphires, mammies and Jezebels. We only get portrayed negatively and Black women are grossly underrepresented in both the fashion and film industry. We are never portrayed as our natural, beautiful selves. We are only portrayed through a Eurocentric lens so that we don’t threaten society’s racist beauty ideals.
I, for one, am beyond tired of it…and this magazine spread is the ultimate insult as far as I am concerned. Black women are being systematically erased in the media.
Some of the comments from people who believe that Black women who are offended by this are over-reacting, include:
*“i guess the real racist is the one who assumes an african couldnt be white.”
“Who said all Africans are black?????”*
The people who made these comments are either oblivious or deliberately evasive to the issue. The issue is that Black women are being discriminated against in the fashion industry and by the media in general. We hardly ever see Black women represented as beautiful in the media and we’re invisible in the fashion industry as was documented in the documentary The Color of Beauty as well as this post on Black Brazilian fashion models.
The editors did NOT choose a “White African,” model. They chose a White American model and painted her in Black face. If they wanted to represent a Black African Queen, they should have picked a Black model, instead of painting a white one.
This is nothing more than the erasure of Blackness that Kola Boof always talks about, it is actually happening and that is a large reason why I will not accept this image and I will not accept that a white person is truly African. If things were equal, maybe I wouldn’t have anything to write about, but they are NOT equal.
Why don’t we ever see Black women portrayed as “European Queens,” and why don’t we replace real white women with Black women painted in “white face”…. while we portray real white women as obese, low class, trashy women all of the time???
It is ONLY Black women who are being erased from the media and THAT is what makes this racist. All that society gives us is negative after negative representation and misrepresentation of real Black women and positive representations of white women painted in Black face.
I will not allow the world to trample on my image as a Black woman any longer, I will continue to speak up and I will stop supporting those who participate in our erasure.
*Special Note: Now about whether or not Africans are white…this may offend some people, but I will never consider a European-descended person who resides in an African country to be truly African.
I would not and do not consider a Black person who resides in a European country to be truly European either.
White Africans are descendants of Europeans, their blood links them back to Europe and that is what their descent is… European, not African. So, NO, to me a white person is not a true African…sorry…This is not to say that a white person can’t identify with a specific culture in an African country nor is it to say that a white person can’t live in Africa nor am I saying that White people in Africa shouldn’t be treated equally. I believe everyone deserves respect and dignity, but at the end of the day, it is what it is…if your descent is European or non-African descent, then you are not African period. Not being African or not being European doesn’t diminish someone’s humanity, but it is what it is. This is my opinion for now, sorry if it offends anyone.*
Video of African Queen by 2face:
P.S This should be a sign to Black people, stop waiting around for white media to represent us right…start our own fashion industry and support it and maybe we’ll flip the script and do a TRUE AFRICAN QUEEN spread.