WHITE WOMAN, BLACK HAIR: ALLURE MAGAZINE UNDER FIRE OVER ‘RACIST’ BEAUTY ARTICLE - CVIEW NEWS

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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

WHITE WOMAN, BLACK HAIR: ALLURE MAGAZINE UNDER FIRE OVER ‘RACIST’ BEAUTY ARTICLE

  • The feature focused on 70s-style hairdos that have been brought back into fashion
  • Actress Marissa Neitling, 31, who stars in TNT’s The Last Ship, modeled a ‘soft, imperfect afro’ in the magazine
  • Many readers have taken to Twitter and Instagram to slam the publication for choosing to use a white woman to model an African American hairstyle
  • The blunder comes just six weeks after Teen Vogue was criticized for using fair-skinned model Phillipa Steele to model a style of African braids 
Allure magazine is facing a bitter backlash after featuring a white model in a beauty article about how to get the perfect afro hairstyle.
The feature, which focuses on 70s-style hairdos being re-vamped by the modern day woman, sees actress Marissa Neitling, 31, modeling what Allure refers to as a ‘soft, imperfect afro’, prompting many readers to lash out at the publication on social media, questioning why it chose to use a white woman to model a traditional African American hairstyle.
‘Why would you ever in your life think this was okay?’ one person questioned on Twitter, while another added: ‘Peak caucasity in Allure magazine y’all.’
Cultural appropriation? Actress Marissa Neitling features in the latest issue of Allure modeling an afro hairstyle. The decision to use a fair-skinned woman in the piece has prompted criticism from readers
Cultural appropriation? Actress Marissa Neitling features in the latest issue of Allure modeling an afro hairstyle. The decision to use a fair-skinned woman in the piece has prompted criticism from readers
'Ballsy and powerful': The image appeared in a feature about retro hairstyles making a comeback, which was a collaboration with celebrity hairstylist Chris McMIllan who offered up tips on how to create an 'imprefect' afro
‘Ballsy and powerful': The image appeared in a feature about retro hairstyles making a comeback, which was a collaboration with celebrity hairstylist Chris McMIllan who offered up tips on how to create an ‘imprefect’ afro
‘This is a perfect example of when a staff has no diversity on their team to tell them to rethink their delivery,’ someone posted on Instagram, along with a picture of the offending feature.
To add insult to injury, the picture of Marissa, who stars in TNT’s The Last Ship, features not once, but twice, in the publication’s August issue.
First in the original feature, which sees celebrity hairstylist Chris McMillan giving tips on how to recreate retro hairstyles, then again towards the back of the magazine where readers are taught how to create an afro hairstyle, even if they have short hair.
‘[An afro] is ballsy and powerful,’ Chris advises when talking about the hairstyle. ‘This is confident hair.’
The piece then goes on to suggest that ‘if you don’t have natural curls in your hair’ you can ‘scrunch palmfuls of mousse from the roots to the ends’ in order to try and add some extra volume.
The second feature, entitled ‘You (yes, you) can have an afro even if you have straight hair’, includes a step-by-step guide on how to perfect the hairstyle.
Poker-straight: Marissa, who stars in TNT series The Last Ship, usually models a much more low-key hairstyle
Outrage: Many readers took to Twitter to criticize the magazine's decision to use a white actress in a piece about a traditional African American hairstyle
Outrage: Many readers took to Twitter to criticize the magazine’s decision to use a white actress in a piece about a traditional African American hairstyle
'Here's to the authentic afro': Some people posted images of the magazine on Instagram, along with negative comments about Allure's 'tutorial on cultural appropriation' 
‘Here’s to the authentic afro': Some people posted images of the magazine on Instagram, along with negative comments about Allure’s ‘tutorial on cultural appropriation’
Negativity: Twitter was full of comments such as this one, which hit out at Allure's seemingly discriminatory decision 
Negativity: Twitter was full of comments such as this one, which hit out at Allure’s seemingly discriminatory decision
'Stop the foolishness': Despite coming under fire from many readers however, Allure did not apologize for its feature
‘Stop the foolishness': Despite coming under fire from many readers however, Allure did not apologize for its feature
Readers are advised to ‘cut your least-favorite cotton T-shirt into skinny strips about three inches long’, before using these stripes to roll up individual strands of wet hair to create tight afro-like curls.
The guide finishes by saying: ‘Fluff up your new ringlets with your fingers and voila: the afro for the straight-haired girl.’
According to the magazine, which refused to apologize for its decision to feature Marissa, whose hair is normally poker-straight, the actress serves as the perfect example of how anyone can achieve this type of hairstyle, no matter what their race.
‘The afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history,’ a spokesperson for the magazine told Buzzfeed.
‘In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as an individual expressions of style [sic].
‘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.’
Retro modern: The image of Marissa featured in a wider article about 70s-style hairdos (pictured), which also showcased long bangs, bowl cuts and soft bends
Retro modern: The image of Marissa featured in a wider article about 70s-style hairdos (pictured), which also showcased long bangs, bowl cuts and soft bends
Two for the price of one: The offending image of Marissa also featured in the back pages of the magazine, where readers were given a step-by-step guide on how to create the perfect afro, even with straight hair
Two for the price of one: The offending image of Marissa also featured in the back pages of the magazine, where readers were given a step-by-step guide on how to create the perfect afro, even with straight hair
Allure’s recent feature comes just six weeks after Teen Vogue faced criticism from readers over a similar article, in which they used a fair-skinned model to illustrate a feature on African braid hairstyles.
The June/July issue of the publication featured an article by the magazine’s beauty and health director Elaine Welteroth in which she wrote about having her hair braided in Rwanda and the reaction she received on her return to New York City.
While a version of the article online featured photos of Welteroth, the print version used photos of a white model named Phillipa Steele.
‘F*** @TeenVogue for their bulls*** article about Senegalese twists and only showing one black girl for example! How could you!!!!’ one person tweeted, before adding: ‘Seriously not buying @TeenVogue again. I’m so insulted by this! You interview a White girl about African hairstyles!! [sic]

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