A Black model or celebrity is always expected to cover a Black hair magazine, so you can imagine how shocked Emily Bador, a white woman, was to learn that her photo had been featured on the front page of the December/ January 2017 issue of Blackhair Magazine (above).
In an awful mishap, the publication featured the model on their latest cover where she is seen rocking an orange afro. And while this looks like a bad case of cultural misappropriation, it’s actually just one huge mistake.
Apparently, the controversial photo was taken a few years ago, and Bador had no idea that it would resurface years later on the cover of Blackhair.
“I would deeply and sincerely like to apologise to every one for this, and black women especially,” reads an apology from Bador on Instagram. “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.”
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She added, “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.”
Bador went on to admit that she was never asked permission to use the photo; otherwise she would have never condoned it.
“The last thing I want to do is offend or hurt anyone, I really hope you don’t all think im a massive twat.” she writes.
The photo was taken a few years ago, and Bador had no idea that it would resurface years later on the cover of Blackhair.
And If you’re wondering how this epic failure was even possible, the magazine’s editor Keysha Davia also issued a statement on Monday (November 21), claiming she didn’t know Bator was white when choosing the image.
“We often ask PR companies/salons to submit images for the magazine, specifically stating that models must be Black or mixed race,” she wrote on Facebook.
“We can only take their word for it, and of course, try to use our own judgment. We are only too aware of how black women are underrepresented in the mainstream media and the last thing we want to do is add to our erasure.”