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ESSENCE Poll: Do You Think Non-Black Women Wearing Afros is Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation?

Allure is under fire for a spread in its August issue that uses a White model to showcase how women with straight hair can also wear Afros. Do you think non-Black women wearing Black hairstyles is appreciation or appropriation?

Can a White woman wear an afro?

This is the question up for major debate today as Allure comes under fire for a spread in its August issue depicting a White woman with a “loose Afro.”

According to Refinery 29, the spread titled, You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro, gives readers a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve the look.

The internet is in a frenzy as hair bloggers, stylists, editors, and everyday women weigh in on why (or why not) the spread is offensive. A myriad of factors play into the opposing arguments including the notion of imitation as flattery and the fact that Black women have the right to straighten their hair.

Still, many wonder why a Black actress wasn’t used to demonstrate the style that focused on prominent hair trends from the ’70s. Others questioned if it would have been better if the history and/or admiration of the afro was mentioned in the article.

Allure released a statement addressing the backlash saying, “The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as…individual expressions of style. Using beauty and hair as a form of self-expression is a mirror of what’s happening in our country today. The creativity is limitless — and pretty wonderful.”

So, what do you think? When it comes to White women wearing Afros, is it just another attempt to emulate without uplifting or is it a display of appreciation? Is it even possible to celebrate a style that Black women have naturally without mentioning its origin? Is the article being blown out of proportion?

Sound off below!

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