As if the Paris Vogue Lara Stone Blackface editorial wasn’t enough, V Magazine has emerged with a trump card: Sasha Pivovarova in blackface posing opposite Heidi Mount in their November issue:

Blackface V Magazine

It’s funny, a large majority of my French friends of African descent really didn’t find the Paris Vogue Lara Stone editorial offensive at all. Because they don’t have the same history of struggle in Europe, they weren’t quick to cite the race card– they viewed the blackface photos as bizarre at worst.

Which brings us to V. This is an American magazine, so they should know better, right? Or is there something we’re missing here? Is painting your skin another color simply a new fashion trend?


14 thoughts on “Fashion News: Blackface in V Magazine #62”

  1. I’m pretty sure they knew this issue would stir up some controversy which is fine we are in a recession and they need to increase their sales BUT painting a white woman’s face black embellishes V magazines ignorance. If they wanted to have a black woman pulling a white woman’s hair and vice versa why not just hire a black model? Why paint her black? I doubt that we are missing anything, V Magazine just wanted to be heard and couldn’t care less how untactful they went about it.

  2. What I keep failing to understand is HOW this is tasteful and/or artistic? If they want a black model, hire a Black model! It’s as simple as that. At this point, I think what’s even more insulting is that they didn’t feel that a Black model would be appropriate for this shoot. They would rather paint a white woman black and risk insulting others, instead of giving the job to actual Black model.

  3. As a french black woman, I’m not bothered them doing blackface…I know deep down inside, they’ve always envied us lol !
    More seriously, the is the art aspect of the photo shoot BUT it bugs me to see that black models don’t work as much as girls like Lara Stone (who is a beautiful model though). On 2009, she made multiple French Vogue covers. How many black girls did ? At least photos of theme (don’t know how to say it in english sorry, “editorial” maybe ?).
    Just my opinion

  4. I’m with Tooty. I’m not as offended as I intially thought I was, if that makes sense. I think it’s artisitic in appreciating our dark, sensual, fly-ass skin tone. If they start adding pads and plumping ist I’mma be pissed, I think ;)

    BTW, I think WE should start appreciating our dark skin tones too.

  5. Maybe this is the hot thing. On ANTM just this past Wednesday they did a photo shoot where the models were portraying mixed race people. They were supposed to embody both cultures, and all of the non-black contestants wore head to toe (H2T, lol) paint to darken their skin.

    I’m not offended as much as bewildered – exactly what is the point? Isn’t one of the goals of art to make people think? I think that actually using a model of color, or having the white model painted black posing *with* a model of color, would have provoked a lot more thought and discourse about the nature of race. Or maybe it’s just a pretty picture.


    I am part black and I really dont see what the big deal is. I have been modeling for the past 3 yrs and completly understand where they were trying to go with this. Just like Tyra’s ANTM this past week, it is a form of art. I think people want to throw the race card just because. It doesnt make any sense to me as why V magazine would want to make it a race thing. Those who want it to be a big deal will make it just that. I feel we’re way past that. Who’s to say that she’s meant to portray someone “black”. Trust me, I get the whole history behind blackface but I really don’t see this being that. Come on people….these girls are models…it’s a damn fashion magazine geesh!!!!

  7. As an artist, the “art” excuse drives me batty. For one thing, fashion editorials might be artistic, but they’re not art. And even if they were, “art” isn’t the same thing as good, or even okay. Art is also bad, in poor taste, racially insensitive, offensive, and just plain stupid.

  8. I don’t understand how any couldn’t be slightly offended by that. I don’t mean you have to start writing V magazine hateful letters in red ink in bold print but black face has always been associated with mocking and insulting blacks for comedy based merely on ridiculous stereotypes. And though this is not a comedic platform, to me it still holds a degree of insult if not for tapping into past hate but for hiring a white model to be black. With so many black models that are itching to get an editorial, you mean to tell me you couldn’t hire one?! What a slap in the face. A black model isn’t good enough to be….a black model. Okay…confuses the heck out of me.

  9. Ok, here’s my question:
    When are we going to STOP being offended?
    The word n&gga was used as a derogatory term in the times of slavery, now we use it all the time as a term of endearment.
    Blackface was offensive in the times of slavery, now we have Tyler Perry, Flavor Flav, etc, doing modern day blackface and promoting stereotypes on the silver screen.
    There’s this argument “We can make fun, but they can’t” : Why?
    We’re comfortable using this on ourselves and laughing, why shouldn’t others?
    Also, we’re no longer slaves. We have a Black President. Who cares if blackface signaled buffoonery or stupidity: we see modern examples everyday of black people who have MADE IT and proved that we are none of the above.
    When are we going to let go of this history of hurt and move on?
    Who knows, maybe once we stop getting ‘mad’ these big bad magazines looking to sell copies will try another ‘avant garde’ tactic to make headlines.

  10. tialuv… you should look into the historical context of things perhaps this is why we are offended by it. minorities, in general, don’t get offended by things all willy nilly… there’s a historical background to most of this. whites painted themselves in blackface and pretended to be what they considered us to be… buffoons. this didn’t happen too long ago–my parents still remember this as it was a big part of the media.

    furthermore, if they wanted somebody black–why not just get a black model? it’s offensive that they didn’t try to get a black model to do this shoot but instead perpetuated the lack of diversity in the industry.

    to be part black and not understand this concept is a bit strange to me. to not be black at all and not understand this would also be strange to me. it’s not about “just getting the story behind it…” it’s acknowledging that this truly affected people’s lives and in many ways shaped the way that blacks feel about themselves today. it was another way of the majority to reinforce the idea within us that we were inferior. this magazine simply tries to do the same–it degrades our history and moreover it says we aren’t worthy to be in their little magazine.

    it’s not art. it’s an insult. art is being creative not ignorant.

  11. Fashion people are BIGOTS. Plain and simple. They will continue to do this stupid stuff. Just ignore them. They will be obsolete anyway.

  12. Well, I guess…

    Folks have a right to not be offended…

    Even though it’s a white woman pretending to be a Black woman…

    Even though history tells us that white ppl. in blackface were imitating Black ppl. to be lazy buffoons…

    I suppose it is art…

    Even though it’s a white woman pretending to be a Black woman…

    I suppose it is supporting Black ppl. & show our beauty since whites are jealous…

    They are so jealous that they didn’t hire a Black model for this shoot…

    They wanted to show off how great it is to be Black but having a white woman play a Black woman…

    You know since they know what it’s like to be Black and all…

  13. Don’t see the artistic value and I can appreciate all creativity. Was the msg. not clear after the Paris Vogue spread? Perhaps if they did a better job communicating the message behind the spread, then no offense would be taken but if there is a message here, it’s over my head.

  14. Alright…..well, with all that being said. What are you going to do to make thinsgs better. Have you wrote them yourself to let them know how you feel about it or are you gonna just complain on a blog and leave it at that. What i do get is….if it really mattered that much, you would really be out there trying to figure out how to make a difference. All talk these days.

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