In a lengthy Instagram post, white British model Emily Bador is apologizing for allowing Blackhair Magazine to showcase her on its cover with her hair styled into an afro.
Bador, who issued her statement after several people on Twitter complained about the image, said she was not aware that magazine was using the photo, which is from several years ago. The magazine features mostly black and mixed-race models. “I would deeply and sincerely like to apologize to everyone for this, and black women especially. 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.”
She continues on about the horrors of cultural appropriation and about her own role in those crimes: “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. I didn’t understand that as a white passing woman I’d be praised for this hair, but if I was a black woman I’d be persecuted. I didn’t understand cultural appropriation.”
Blackhair Magazine, a bi-monthly publication based in London, has not yet commented publicly on the photo, which was in the latest issue. The image of Bador, who is now 19 according to her agent, remained on promotional social media posts at the time this story was published.
*NEW ISSUE ALERT* Our Dec/Jan issue is now on shelves, grab your copy Belles for glam autumn looks, amazing giveaways & festive hair inspo! pic.twitter.com/esz3gvmfpQ
— Blackhair Magazine (@Blackhairmags) November 3, 2016
@Blackhairmags this cover makes no sense to what you stand for!? Smh
— OG✨ (@Olivia_Gold) November 21, 2016
— Tobi Oredein (@IamTobiOredein) November 21, 2016
I would deeply and sincerely like to apologise to every one for this, and black women especially. 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. I was uneducated, which obviously is no excuse, ignorant and immature. Growing up in a very very white city, I had no idea the struggles black women face and how often they were persecuted for their hair. 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. I didn't understand that as a white passing woman I'd be praised for this hair, but if I was a black woman I'd be persecuted. I didn't understand cultural appropriation. ✨ I do regret doing this. I hold up my hands, I'm so so so sorry and I'm very sorry this cover was taken away from a black woman. This image is (I think, although I'm not 100% sure) about 3/4 years old, it was never intended to be on the cover of this magazine. If I had known it was going to be published, I would never have condoned it. I'm upset and angry I was never asked by the photographer/hair salon/anyone if this image could be used for the cover Black Hair. ✨ I'm so glad I've educated myself and surrounded my self with people to teach me what is right and wrong. I constantly am learning and becoming more and more informed. It's important to come forward and be honest with ourselves about our past mistakes, otherwise we will never learn. Again, I'm truly, deeply sorry to anyone I've offended and I hope if nothing else this post can educated others so they don't make similar mistakes. (also please let me know if I've said anything wrong or offensive in this post!!! or anything i can add!!!! i love u all sm and the last thing i want to do is offend or hurt any one, i really hope you don't all think im a massive twat 😔)