In a humongous publication fail, Blackhair magazine mistakenly featured a white model on its December/January cover. Fam.
The model in question, Emily Bador, who’s white, pointed the error out in an Instagram post, in which she apologized for the shoot and said she had no idea the photo—which she believes was taken three or four years ago—was going to be featured on Blackhair.
Bador also said she regretted doing the shoot in retrospect because the image looks like a mixed race model. “I would deeply and sincerely like to apologise to every one for this, and black women especially,” she wrote on IG. “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.”
Bador 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.”
While this sounds like Bador may have signed away her image rights unknowingly, she says those involved in the shoot didn’t get her permission to publish the photo for the cover of Blackhair. “If I had known it was going to be published, I would never have condoned it,” Bador wrote. “It’s important to come forward and be honest with ourselves about our past mistakes, otherwise we will never learn.”
In a statement posted on Facebook on Monday, Blackhair editor Keysha Davis chalked it up to an honest mistake and claimed she didn’t know Bador wasn’t black 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. “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.”