Allure Magazine has seen better days.
A spread in the magazine’s August issue on afros screamed cultural appropriation and ignorance as the latest summer fad — thereby igniting a flurry of pushback on black Twitter.
The spread in question features hair tutorials by stylist Chris McMillan, who transforms the tresses of various (white) Hollywood actresses employing hairstyles popularized in the 1970’s — the bowl cut, soft bends, long bangs and an Afro. The Afro, the magazine asserts, “isn’t an introvert’s hairstyle — its ballsy and powerful!.”
Aside from overlooking the cultural significance and political implications that led to the Afro’s popularization under a contentious racialized climate in the 1970’s, the magazine’s poor choice of verbiage, referencing the style as “rag curls,” along with its use of a white actress to model the traditionally black hairstyle has many calling foul.
In a statement released to multiple media outlets, Allure says the spread was meant to convey the level of self expression afforded to people in America today:
“The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story we show women using different hairstyle as an 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.”
— Eileen ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@MissWhoeverUR) August 3, 2015
— #AskingForSully (@BtSquared2) August 2, 2015
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) August 3, 2015
White people wanting Afros, but Black people can't wear their hair in an Afro because it's unprofessional. That's cultural appropriation.
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 2, 2015
Afro starts with a capital A for a reason right? https://t.co/rbKbwV3EVR
— Smokey Carmichael (@TweetItHowULive) August 2, 2015