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Dedicated followers of fasc-ion

Vogue-fpshotHaving enjoyed their best-selling issue ever after putting a black model on the cover, Vogue have once again reverted to type by blacking-up a white model who posed, legs-akimbo

As Hannah Pool says, in the Guardian “If the images are supposed to be an artistic form of social commentary, they have pitched it badly wrong. In an issue billed on the cover as Top Models Special no black women feature in any of the shoots (and not even in a Benetton advert). “

The blacking-up of Dutch supermodel Lara Stone comes hot on the heels of a row about an Australian light entertainment show which featured white men mimicking the Jackson 5 with blacked-up faces.

The use by Vogue of such imagery from a by-gone minstrel era, synonymous with overt racism, is baffling. It sets back the push to get real black women accepted in a fashion industry that is still plagued by prejudice, and gives a green light to racists everywhere who wish to mimic black people.

Clearly Vogue’s editors are living in another world. A world where they feel no compunction to portray black women as sexualised caricatures.

The same world, incidentally, that Sara Baartman (aka the Hottentot Venus) encountered in the 19th century. She was objectified and demeaned by people who did not understand the first thing about her. 200 years later Vogue has brought us Minstrel Venus.

By Lester Holloway

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