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Vogue’s Haute Mess Editorial: A Not‐So‐Subtle Swipe at Black Women

Avatar • Mar 12, 2012

On the left is an image from Vogue’s Haute Mess editorial. On the right is the photo that inspired it.

By LJ Knight of YeahSheSaidIt.com

Sistas, have you ever been in a department store, or maybe even at your place of work and have someone Caucasian approach you and compliment you on your hair, or even your unique clothes? It starts with maybe a few short glances and then it progresses into full blown lengthy stares every time you pass by them or enter a room. It is as if they are dying to approach you and discuss whatever it is about you that they admire but have no idea how to do so without seeming…. Racist. I mean you can literally feel their eyes follow you from one part of the room to the next as if they are burning on the inside with curiosity.

Stop and reflect on that moment that almost every Black woman has experienced at least once in her lifetime, and consider the most recent online Vogue Magazine spread titled “Haute Mess”. Being an obvious play on the slang term “hot mess”; Vogue’s Haute Mess featured White women stylized with colorful hair, colorful long acrylic finger nails, hairstyles that were decked out with weave galore, hair buns with the Oreo slogan spray painted in it. There were also big hoop earrings, two finger rings and over done make up that looked more campy than chic. My favorite was the Colt 45 can that one model was holding. I don’t know about you but that  made the bigot cake a tad bit sweeter for me.

My problem with images like these has and always will be the same. The wise old debate as to are they laughing with us or at us? In other words, is this coming from a place of great affection for a certain culture and their specific fashion? Or is this Vogue’s magazine way of mocking Black women? Maybe it is a little bit of both as they also recently did a shoot for Vogue Italia where they had sistas with natural hair. Which is a step forward but they still seem to lack consistency in how they portray people of color overall.

Let’s start with Vogue’s past. Vogue magazine does not have a lengthy reputation with seeing women of color as objects of beauty. In fact, it was only in the recent years that they began to diversify the ethnicity and look of their models to keep up with the ever changing times. Let’s face it, before that Vogue magazine couldn’t care less about what was going on in a Black women’s world. They damn sure were not concerned with  whatever fashion Black women were rocking. To put it in slang terms‐ Vogue magazine was not checking for the sistas. So what has changed?

Well to put it plainly‐ A lot. Apparently anything urbanesque is cool and if you are Black then you automatically earn ten “swag” points from the start. While this may appear to be a step in the right direction to some it still leaves me with some concerns. Namely the one I mentioned earlier is on the top of the list. Are they truly adoring our sense of fashion and edgy style or are they mocking us and this is their way of displaying how foolish we appear to them without directly saying it to our face.

While one can never truly know the inner workings of high powered fashion magazines and the going ons behind closed doors, we can surely guess. You see, this is not Vogue’s first run in with walking a hair fine line between offering accolades and paying tribute to Black women and being offensive and degrading towards Black women and viewing us as caricatures.The very last noteworthy offense was the Black face spread they did which did not sit well with readers who all wondered the same thing. Why the Black face? What was the point in conjunction with the theme behind the fashion and the clothes themselves? The clothes were not from an African motif. The models were not women of color. So, why paint their faces Black other than to incite controversy and whispers at the expense of playing around in the dirty backyard of America’s history with black face and what it TRULY meant for America not so many years ago.

This is where Vogue loses my co‐sign. They are trying to desperately as of late to put out the image that they want to touch a wider audience and that they want to embrace the likes of women of every culture, background, and ethnicity. Yet they continue to do so insultingly. You want to have models with Black faces then hire some damn models that actually have Black faces. You want to celebrate the history of urban fashion from the 80’s, 90’s and so on then use minority women to highlight this time in fashion. Lakeshia and Mashonda were the ones rocking that breed of fashion at the time and not Susie or Laura. Even if they attempted to do so, we taught them how to make it look fresh. That is a fact and not an opinion dears.

While I’m on the subject allow me to vent a pinch. Why is it that whenever someone White partakes in something that was traditionally an African American feature or experience, it suddenly becomes sexy, hot, unique, attractive, and any other word that is an synonym for being a “positive” response? It upsets me to no end when I see this happen repeatedly in media, movies, TV, music, and now fashion. I have no problem with anyone giving props to Black women for being beautiful, unique, and trendsetters (We are amazing) and wanting to emulate us but give credit where it is due first before you either take bits and pieces of whatever appealing factors they find in our culture or attempt to mimic it but do so with a sly snicker or grin on their face while making the recreation itself clown‐ like. As if to say, you see‐ this is how foolish you look to us. Be clear and concise in your stance Vogue. Because right now you imitate Black women while also dissing us. Which is it Vogue?

Below are images from the Haute Mess editorial juxtaposed with real images of black women. The full Vogue spread is here. Ladies, what are your thoughts on this?

Deemed “the voice of the urban sophisticate woman”, LJ Knight’s style of unabashed, in your face tough love resonates with the everywoman like few else can because she doesn’t talk down from a holier than thou soapbox–she’s lived through the very same experiences her exponentially growing audience has. You can find more of LJ Knight’s in your face opinions at YeahSheSaidIt.com.

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Nana
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Nana

They even used hashtags… mocking black twitterisms. There’s always an uptick in racism when Black History Month ends.

Barbara
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Barbara

Oh no! not the sacred “black twitterism” whose last trending topic, I dared look at was “#to my future sideline hoe”

Gerpha
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Gerpha

I think the spread is funny. I laugh at these things all the time–both when I see pictures of similar outrageous garb/mannerisms or when I witness them in public. It’s funny, not because the women are Black, but because of what they’re wearing. I’d still think it’s funny if the women were Hispanic, Asian, Native American, of mixed heritage, or White.

Elle
Guest

Just my opinion…but if anything, this is a swipe at hood people, not black people. Also, I see that a lot of the corresponding pics are from nowaygirl.com, which is basically a site showcasing and making fun of people. So it’s okay for us to giggle about the site and pics but other people can’t? I think that the pictures are creepy if anything, but I did like the one with the cupcakes on top.

Rika
Guest
Rika

you have to realize that the influences that both of these publications have. nowaygirl does not have the audience nor the influence that vouge has. People see these images on such an influential magazine and if they do not know any better can take these images as truth. Being an older sister of two girls this is not what I want the world to think defines a black woman as my little sisters grown up because its not what they are.

Elle
Guest

I understand that, but the actual spread does not even show black women. Honestly, I wouldn’t have even thought of black women when I saw the pics unless I saw the side by side pics. Actually, even with the side by side pics…I didn’t think of black women.

Shay
Guest
Shay

Yeah I don’t think they are making fun of “us” but I do think they are making fun of a certain segment of the African American population. I find the spread annoying for it’s classist overtones the same way I would if they did a spread called “Trailer Parque Tony.”

Shay
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Shay

and oops yes I know that’s the wrong “its”

Tammy
Guest
Tammy

Yeah I don’t think that they are making fun of “us” either. I think it’s a mockery, however, of women who actually engage in these types of “beauty” enhancements. Whether the person is white or black, it’s obvious that the lace front looks ridiculous along with several of the other photos.

hassan
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hassan

Actually Joan Smalls, a black model is on the cover dressed in a similar #overthetop get‐up! Although I don’t dress like this, I believe the black women that do are simply creatively expressing themselves. I don’t like that black women are labeled as “hood, ratchet, ghetto” but once white people embrace it, it’s now “trendy, art, fashion” This is another case of cultural appropriation and Vogue Italia is clearly mocking black women who dress like this!

Check it out
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/joan-smalls-vogue-italia-_n_1304332.html

tiredofthebs
Guest
tiredofthebs

I understand what you’re saying. However, I refuse to live my life worrying about how ppl see me, regardless of race. Just like they see hoodrats they see Black women who are not, like Michelle Obama, Oprah, Beyonce, and Dr. Jemison. My point is that ppl see who and what they want to see, and are well aware that all Black women do not fit this stereotype. We have made too many strides and contributions to society (many which we have rcvd credit for)to be judged by the action of one. On anthr note, I am not naive to not… Read more »

Sequitta
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Sequitta

Yeah, but this “influential magazine” has also featured women like Lady Obama, Beyonce, Iman, Tyra Banks, etc,etc,etc. In fact, you see more reference to Black women of that stature in Vogue and other publications of relevance than anything else. And then take into account all of the Black women you see on a daily basis in person! I highly doubt that people will see these images and think “OMG I didn’t know Black women like to wear candy wrappers in their hair!”

tiredofthebs
Guest
tiredofthebs

“has also featured women like Lady Obama, Beyonce, Iman, Tyra Banks, etc,etc,etc” MY RESPONSE That’s my point, that there are many positive Black women as well as positive images of Black women out there, and if someone chooses to see only the negative, I will not go out of my way to prove anything to them. “I highly doubt that people will see these images and think “OMG I didn’t know Black women like to wear candy wrappers in their hair!” MY RESPONSE I didn’t say that they would think that, I’m saying I could care less if they did.… Read more »

Rami
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Rami

“..are they laughing at us or with us?..” seriously you people need to stop being oversensitive. “They” are human beings, “us” are human beings “They” are americans, “us” are americans. Seriously this is a new year, when the hell will we stop this racial division. This post was obviously written to stir up controversy between white media and black media, written from a subjective view and “ladies, what are your thoughts?”-actually means, “ladies, cant believe they wrote this about us, it makes me angry, I know your on my side, so send the comments and prove me right..” So anyway,… Read more »

Gerpha
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Gerpha

YES.

Dani
Guest
Dani

This was NOT a swipe at Black women at all. The original pic is ugly and ghetto as Hell. WTF is up with her hairline? I would’ve written the article if I worked for Vogue, too. I see women in general misusing fake hair and accessories all the time. Should I be offended that the exampple is a black woman? It’s a good example. I am a Black woman and have never looked like that and will NEVER look like that. I’m so tired of Black people screaming racism EVERY SINGLE TIME a black person is rightfully recognized for anything… Read more »

sasha
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sasha

I think I understand the overall point that you are making. Despite racism we still have to critique the good and bad about ourselves. I believe that blacks should acknowledge that racism makes it more challenging to be self‐reflective (within a group context). On one hand, the images are a hot mess and there are black people who are being represented. On the other hand, are non‐black “hot messes” images presented in a high fashion magazine like Vogue? Aldo are the “worst” representation of non‐black groups displayed in high fashion magazines?

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

To be quite honest I would NEVER EVER wear any of the styles of the women in these photos, and some are a HOT MESS, in my personal opinion of course, but to that I say to each her own. I will say, that I do grow tired of ALWAYS and I do mean always seeing the mocking of black culture. For all the women that bring up the point that it’s 2012 and we need to come off the “racist” kick I say just like in human nature a certain age does not determin whether that person is mature… Read more »

Meena Yusuf
Guest

I am not offended by this in the slightest. Why? Because I have nothing (other than pigmentation) in common with the women who inspired this editorial. The editorial says more about “rachetness” than it says about me. I don’t think this is a “traditional African American experience or feature”, I think this is only representative of one small subset of the Diaspora. To imply that is editorial is a “swipe” at ALL Black women is essentialism — the Black experience is vast and wide; and the rachet experience is certainly not mine. *no shade*

Auty
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Auty

well said

Alesia White
Guest

Perhaps they are trying to reach the black population and so it is an attempt to show they care.

shewhomustnotbeshamed
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shewhomustnotbeshamed

O_o are you for real?

Rachel B
Guest
Rachel B

i found this article to be funny and not surprising. i see this all the time around the area i live and it somewhat normal to see cuz ive been seeing it so much, some might be for hair show or the showcasing the talent the hairstylist has. either way this was funny i didnt find it offensive because ppl do stupid things if you put yourself out there you’ll get either positive or negative outcomes…

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

I feel like they did this to get people talking. They always pull some ish like this & then issue a half ass apology. Whatever we do is always ugly on us & gorgeous on them; big lips, curvy bodies, hair colors, afros, the list goes on. This is infuriating. People only want to see people of color in one way, foolish.

opi
Guest
opi

agreed.

Ogo
Guest
Ogo

ITA! They want attn!

Bethany
Guest
Bethany

If that is all you focus on and pinpoint on than that is what you will get. This was on a culture as a whole. Which, is composed of all races. I think the people that are offended by it have it in their own mind that this is who the black culture is and foolishly fail to realize this is a whole population instead of just one race. And further more, this was vogue italia, maybe think that in other countries, since this culture is one in which draws more attention i.e Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga this is… Read more »

Cymone
Guest
Cymone

While I’m on the subject allow me to vent a pinch. Why is it that whenever someone White partakes in something that was traditionally an African American feature or experience, it suddenly becomes sexy, hot, unique, attractive, and any other word that is an synonym for being a “positive” response?”

This is somethin Ive been asking since I started grade school, & will continue to ask as a 22‐year‐old & beyond. All we can do is pray that this stupidity comes to an end tho

LaToya
Guest
LaToya

Ok sorry, but these images ARE a hot mess! I dislike the same things! It does make me a little upset that white people are picking at them though. I can’t say “us” because none of this represents ME. But if it’s a mess, it’s a mess… Mixed emotions on this one

Cymone
Guest
Cymone

Ikr! Its a screwed decision to pick on this one!

RighteousTeacher
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RighteousTeacher

Accusing someone with an opinion of being “oversensitive” is the one‐word cop‐out of the decade! You know what “oversensitive” is? Overused, that’s what! And Insensitive too! I appreciate the writer’s opinion and personal observations. I think in the dominant culture there has always been a love/hate relationship with both the hot and the hot‐mess aspects of black culture. I think the spread is funny, because it’s so outrageous & over‐the‐top. I don’t think it’s racist. I’d hate to have to go into a court room, for example, and argue that the spread is an insult to black culture. In other… Read more »

goodGrief
Guest
goodGrief

And this is why Racism persists. Black America we have bigger concerns within ourselves. If white people thought this was tacky they would fucking tell you. Cant you take the recognition? With minstrels like Nicki Minaj parading around for the entertainment of the people who write these articles how could you be so surprised and offended by a commentary on outrageous hair trends inspired by African american women especially since their platform in “Popular” music is so influential to all races? Dont be so paranoid, ignorant, and small minded to assume white people are always mocking the things you apparently… Read more »

Bria
Guest
Bria

Really it doesn’t offend me because I couldn’t care less about what vogue thinks of me.

flustertongue
Guest
flustertongue

This was done by *Vogue Italia*, not Vogue “America”, so this has nothing to do with black america. Vogue perhaps should apologize on behalf of it, but perhaps Vogue Italia does not understand certain aspects in America.… Hey, it’s racist either way, but some countries are more ignorant about it and need to be schooled. So those complaining about American issues and such, it’s an Italian magazine not getting certain subtleties about American cultures. Someone needs to bring this to their attention rather than complaining and blaming the entire Vogue enterprise for it.

suzette tobias
Guest
suzette tobias

to be honest i did not read the entire article but i got the gist ‚i could not care less about vogue however ‚let’s be realistic the very long multi colour fake nails the over done make up two shades maybe three too light ‚the five colour hair don’ts and the five inch long acrilyc toes, is it any wonder people laugh at us come on now be honest .some of us call each other niger which every one knows is a derogatory word but we do it any way another race calls us the same word and we get… Read more »

FH
Guest
FH

really…? no.…. Blown way out of proportion. The whole thing was pretty cool, actually, and it definitely wasn’t meant to offend anyone. The spread was titled “Haute Mess” for a reason…it’s nobody’s fault that these women caught on camera looked kinda strange. But Vogue made it cool. I’d never even seen some of these. And the other ones.…you could also easily say they were taking shots at Asian styles as well, or pop culture. Really not meant to offend, at all..

Ogo
Guest
Ogo

How do you know that it was “really not meant to offend, at all”? Are you on the production team? Also, offense is like communication. It is not measured by the transmitter (Person A), but by the transmitted to (Person B).

CJ
Guest
CJ

I’m sorry but this isn’t a stab at all black women. None of those ghetto ass picture represent me and Vouge has every right to make fun of it. All of those pictures are ridiculous and a disgrace. Just because vouge is predominately white its racist and appalling but as soon as someone like me, a black girl, made fun of those ridiculous choices its funny and true. A hot mess is a hot mess, no matter who its pointed out to or by. Just like we say white girls with dreads and hillbillies glorifying missing teeth and bad hygiene… Read more »

Rosina
Guest

I think the writer is basically over reacting. I think if we look for negativitity we are bound to find it in almost anything around us.

Its important for us black people to be happy with who we are, to be comfortable in our own skins/hair and accept ourselves as we are. Then we shall simply mind our own business and not be bothered by what other people think, say or even write about us.

Forget about vogue and whatever message they are sending to whoever,love and accept yourself, fullstop!

Written by a Black Woman in Southern Africa

Jc
Guest

I agree with you Rosina. I have to highlight this statement

Its important for us black people to be happy with who we are, to be comfortable in our own skins/hair and accept ourselves as we are. Then we shall simply mind our own business and not be bothered by what other people think, say or even write about us.

merry
Guest
merry

this is a fantasy.

there is not group on earth that would go along with that.

Jc
Guest

Group thinking is a real human problem. Every individual needs to find values they like and reject those they don’t, it is a choice to believe what others tell you about yourself and any group you choose to affiliate with. You coul choose to believe differently and it will have a totally different impact on how you carry yourself in life.

Abi
Guest
Abi

Wow, well all I thought looking at the pictures was, ‘white people laughing at and mocking black people again’. I’m from the UK and in the 60s and 70s there were actually shows on TV were white people would wear black face and act out and say crazy, stupid, “tribal” things like eating cat food and having primate level intelligence. But “sticks and stones”, “stop being oversensitive”. I’m so grateful people did get angry and do something or I, having been born in the 90s, would’ve grown up watching that and God knows how many other generations. Look at how… Read more »

Shug
Guest
Shug

I totally agree with everything you stated. Most whites can’t separate the ‘Laquisha’ from ‘Michelle O.’. I think that is the biggest concern. Most of the time this is due to ignorance and isolation. I thought the author brought up a valid question. Now, can I say this spread is mocking us? No! The reason is because fashion has always been crazy and the lack of creativity may have pushed them to steal from those who are trying to be more creative. I get upset just like you when it turns into STEREOTYPES. Now, with the availability of the internet… Read more »

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

@ Shug: “Right or wrong, ignorance of the majority will prevail, if people don’t raise opposition.” 100% TRUE.

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

@ Abi‐ I agree with EVERYTHING you’ve written.

soulsentwined
Guest
soulsentwined

I agree with everything you said. This is another example of the media’s one sided stereotypical portrayal of black people

Elaine
Guest
Elaine

Can we not agree that this is a segment of Black Americans? Not to mention a segment that is ridiculed on many many sites. This is not a swipe at black style, but a very specific segment. Does it reflect the diversity of styles? No, but neither does the authors outrage or identifying this as black style.

flustertongue
Guest
flustertongue

I have no idea what Abi is talking about or what wearing twix wrappers in your hair has to do with Michelle Obama, or anything to do with the “thug” image—which went out in the mid nineties. Where is your head? Wow. Talk about stereotyping.

l.j
Guest
l.j

Did anybody but me notice it was ITALIAN VOGUE that did this article? Their ideas are a bit different from what we Americans call “PC”. No where did it say Hey look at thee black folks. I think it was funny and quite entertaining,especially because if i saw any of these styles out in public i would totally make fun of them.

Ruz
Guest
Ruz

The spread is inspired by the trends of a small minority of black females. I do not consider this ‘black style’ as neither I nor my family/friends dress like this and I feel that the looks are more ridiculous than stylish. Despite the fact that I do not associate myself with these women, I am offended. Why? -The images appear to be a parody rather than a burst of creativity. Just look at the settings they chose for the shoots. In my opinion, ‘Haute mess’ is very tacky. -The looks are inspired by black women yet the majority of the… Read more »

R. Kahendi
Guest

I have to ask whether some of you guys have actually looked at what is typically worn on fashion runways. It is often clothing that nobody in the mainstream would wear in real life. “Fashion” is, in that sense, exactly what some of these black women are doing with their hair or clothing. It is unique, it is crazy, it is neurotic. And those could all be good things or bad things, depending on your perspective.

In the world of art and creativity, neurotic ideas are the ones that are admired, and neurotic fashion trends like Ghetto Fab are considered innovative.

Ruz
Guest
Ruz

Heya R. Kahendi I understand your points. Of course we have all seen the styles on the runway but that is another (albeit related) context. I have been careful to state my points in a way that it is clear I am expressing an opinion. Different people have different views on creativity. I do not like the styles but that was not the reason I contributed to the discussion. I believe that the foundations and execution of the editorial are poor. Controversy is often thought to be a great thing in the fashion world, but if it could possibly be… Read more »

Siri
Guest
Siri

I just want to point out Vogue Italian had an a black issue a few years ago. It was done beautifully, tastefully, and it was very classy. The edition also had black models and not black celebrities. That is more than any other issue of Vogue. Italy isn’t a very PC country (I’ve been there) and they take jabs and not only themselves but other ethnicities and races. It’s not to be taken personally. It is just their culture.

GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU
Guest
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU

It might not be a jab at ‘YOU’ personally but it is a jab. Just like if my sister has a wierd style of dress, I can tease and make fun because we family, but I’ll be damned if someone ‘OUTSIDE’ the family threw a diss or insult! Yes, this is how the WORLD will see US. Vogue is huge worldwide. Wake up people.

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

Love the name and the sign off =) LOL! Yup, so many of us colored folks have swallowed and enjoyed the taste of classism that it becomes so easy to say, “It’s not me they are talking about…I’m not like those black people”. This field/house mentality has been used quite successfully by us and by the majority population (also called the “ruling class”) to keep social, intellectual, and financial resources out of our most desperate communities and continues to effectively pull the wool over many of our eyes. Maybe it’s my age, but I do not subscribe to the lie… Read more »

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

BTW, for those of you who are interested in the nascent rise of “ghetto culture” and black “middle‐class or upper‐class culture”, for a lack of a better word, please check out anything written about the two major migrations up North and the convict lease system (which was slave based labor that wasn’t outlawed until the early 20th century, some scholars say mid‐20th c.)In fact, for easy reading, “The Autobiography of Malcom X” provides some insight as well. Ok. Enough of this. Ciao ladies.

GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU
Guest
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU

I agree +1000!!!

R. Kahendi
Guest

I think that this article leans too much on the side of generalization. Obviously, there are instances when the media portrays black women’s ideas of style/ fashion negatively. But there are also instances when they are admired as creative/ original. Where on earth did you get the idea that ideas only become hip, cool or sexy when they are adopted by white people? Black urban culture does tend to be looked upon as hip, cool or sexy. That is why it has had such an influence on American aesthetics and on global aesthetics. And, frankly speaking, that is how the… Read more »

Shug
Guest
Shug

They got they ideal that is it becomes cool or sexy from years of stealing our style. One example, rock ‘n roll was first black music but it didn’t become popular until people like Elvis and the Beetles took it. It’s not all creative forums are stolen, but there are documented cases where the majority steals it from the minority and claims it as their own. one thing I think people (not speaking of you directly)forget is that we can’t deny the past. People have a habit of judging a person first with their eyes and let’s face it, it’s… Read more »

vanisha
Guest

It can be offensive to some.. but we need to stop fueling the flame. Ive seen too many posts dealing with race on this site.. its disappointing especially when you get to the comments of so many outraged black women : / lets just talk about hairrrr lol i miss the old site!

sosoulful_0125
Guest
sosoulful_0125

My opinion of these looks is they are ignorant whether it’s black or white sporting these looks. I cringe whenever I see people in the street who look like this. I don’t think it’s a swipe at black people and then again it maybe it is. But I think the less attention we provide to ignorance then it will not have any relevance. Just my two cents.

Tuggar
Guest
Tuggar

I personally think when black women do those things (lace fronts, neon hair, and ridiculously long brightly colored nails, basically “hood fabulous”) it looks horrible. There is nothing cultural about being ghetto. When you look a hot mess, you look a hot mess period. Further more you leave yourself open to ridicule whether your skin is black, white, yellow or blue. Black folk poke fun at white folk all the time. And the second someone white says something it’s a great debate. Whether the photos where racially powered doesn’t even matter because you shouldn’t have looked a “Haute Mess” to… Read more »

Ogo
Guest
Ogo

Sigh. I am more disappointed in some of the comments than I am (disappointed) with the tacky Vogue spread. (I guess progressive Black consciousnesses are out of style.)

Yes, it was a jab at Black women. Why? Because pop culture does not separate “normal” Black culture from hood/“ghetto” culture. If it did, myself and many other young, educated, well‐employed Black ppl would not be viewed as the “exception to the rule” of what Blackness is.

Sigh. But, no. Let’s chuckle along. We wouldn’t want to look “oversensitive”. Heavens no!

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

I hear ya Ogo!

Ruz
Guest
Ruz

Totally agree with you Ogo 🙂

Ogo
Guest
Ogo

Ok, these images were published by Vogue Italia, so how to ppl know that they were not meant to offend? Also, how do ppl know that this is just an attack on “ghetto” culture and not an attack on Black women? Before you answer ask your: how much do I know about Italian culture? Have I ever even BEEN TO ITALY?

p.s. I have LIVED in Italy…interested to hear the responses from ppl caping for VOGUE ITALIA though.

soulsentwined
Guest
soulsentwined

exactly, and why should these women be mocked for wearing their hair/nails how they please? If Lady Gaga did it they’d say she was creative and innovative.

Ogo
Guest
Ogo

+1000

shewhomustnotbeshamed
Guest
shewhomustnotbeshamed

For all you guys saying that this is a segment of black society, we differentiate between ourselves but often mainstream white media does not. To them ALL black people are the same. we aren’t seen as individuals with different cultures and morals or even style just another black woman and all the stereotypes attached to black women are being attached to you. so when they laugh at these stereotyped women they’re laughing at YOU. yes YOU, no matter what school you went to or how well you speak they have stereotyped you and they’re ridiculing you. you we aren’t in… Read more »

Zoopath
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Zoopath

+1

anastasia
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anastasia

+1000

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

But the thing is if they are laughing at me so what?? I just can’t deal with all these jabs and fight them off, I have better things to do than worry about what Vogue Italia or anyone thinks. I also think it’s VERY hypocritical of us to assume that ALL white people think this way… reverse racism 101.

Mai
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Mai

I agree reverse racism 101. Black peoplemake fun of other races (think Dave Chappelle) but when the tables are turned on us, we get bent out of shape. It wasn’t funny when Don Imus said “Nappy Headed Hos” but when DL Hughley adds to that they were also ugly, it’s a joke and everyone laughs. No thank you. The site they homage to was started by a black person but it’s funny there. Vogue redoes it but now it’s offensive. It’s called being a hypocritic. And to the person that said its ok to laugh at your sister but strangers… Read more »

shewhomustnotbeshamed
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shewhomustnotbeshamed

there’s no such thing as reverse racism because black people aren’t in a position of power within the global society to excercise predujiced. and until there are more positive images and representations of the black women in the global community i will continue to be hypersensitive and overly critical.

shewhomustnotbeshamed
Guest
shewhomustnotbeshamed

but i was generalising with a very broad brush

shewhomustnotbeshamed
Guest
shewhomustnotbeshamed

which is wrong

GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU
Guest
GetaClueyeahtheytalkinboutYOU

*It was a figure of speech BTW, but that wasn’t the point I was making.
I’d rather someone say how they felt to my face than do it cowardly any day, but it’s completly different to be blatantly mocked out of ignorance than to joke, clown or what have you, with people who are from you ‘OWN’ circle. But to agree with one point you made, yes, ‘WE’ should be the ones enlighten ‘OUR’ people when they are off track. #Thatisall

shewhomustnotbeshamed
Guest
shewhomustnotbeshamed

I Kissed my teeth so hard when i saw this For all you guys saying that this is a segment of black society, we differentiate between ourselves but often mainstream white media does not. To them ALL black people are the same. we aren’t seen as individuals with different cultures and morals or even style just another black woman and all the stereotypes attached to black women are being attached to you. so when they laugh at these stereotyped women they’re laughing at YOU. yes YOU, no matter what school you went to or how well you speak they have… Read more »

monalisa
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monalisa

I completely agree with this. Well said. That’s exactly how I feel as well. I know the difference but a lot of non‐black people out there do not so they’re gonna look at those images and associate them with you even though you don’t leave your house looking anything like that.

binks
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binks

OMG YESSSS!!! To you, sam and a few others, I thought I was the only one giving the side eye to some comments. Whether or not these images depict you or not people will look at it as black culture. But my grandfather always said that the majority of us are on autopilot and have our heads in the sand, we aren’t so far removed that people see us and take us on an individual basis because we are still fighting for diversity in the media,fashion,etc. Get real they are laughing at us whether we represent these images or not.… Read more »

i
Guest
i

People are being oversensitive, also, if certain people would stop being so ratchet, then others will not have a reason to make fun of or mock them. I dont dress or act this way, so in know way am I offended. If you saw this “ghettoness” out in public, im sure you would cast judgement or make fun of that person in your head, so why cant Vogue make a mockery of it out in the open? Get over it. End of Story.

anastasia
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anastasia

@ I: So people are just “oversensitive”?

Hmmmm…When the Obama’s daughters had their hair in beautiful lush two‐strand twist descriptors used by Fox news(which has the distinction of being the most watched news station in the U.S.and the vehicle for extreme social and economic conservatism)viewers included: ghetto trash, hood rats,pickaninny, porch‐monkey etc. NOTHING about the Obama’s places them in the categories you’ve described as being appropriate for mockery, if there is such a thing.

Really?!Oversensitive?! Get a book. Learn the Story.

Tuggar
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Tuggar

If I saw Obama’s daughters walk out the white house with multi colored lace front wigs that extend all the way down past their hair line to their nose 1st I’d say: WTF? 2nd I would say that’s plain ghetto, what was Michelle thinking letting them outta the house like that!?!?! LOL.… but that’s neither here nor there. I think it’s a little hypocritical when black people constantly make fun of white people thru their comedy(i.e. white chicks w/ the Wayne’s brothers or multi negative references on the cartoon Boondocks) but the second someone says something about them that’s when… Read more »

anastasia
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anastasia

I too think some Black people oppress themselves and I personally find black comedians that mock supposed white behavior insulting to my intelligence and crass. My comment was meant to illustrate that the subcategories so many of our people are comfortable using to differentiate ourselves from each other,does not play out that way in larger culture (international and domestic). Bottom line: Mrs. O did not have her children dressed in a way that could be deemed offensive, trashy, crass, or “ghetto”, but yet Fox News watchers and blog readers could not and did not differentiate as so many of us… Read more »

anastasia
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anastasia

What saddens me about this post is the readiness at which people are able to mock others and ubiquitious reference of “ghetto” as being equal to lack of class‐ as evidenced by expressions like “Ewww, that’s so ghetto”. Guess I’m in the minority b/c when I think of ghetto’s I think of institutionalized and systematic racism(a recipe for crime, abuse, drugs,and sub‐par education) struggling families who work hard to make ends meet, single‐person headed households, the elderly, and those who are often not given the tools by their families, communities, and educational system to be upwardly mobile. But when the… Read more »

Siri
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Siri

These people have the choice to buy certain clothes and wear a certain hairstyle. And while I agree with you about ghettos, it is cheaper to go to Walmart than buying the clothes and hairstyles that they choose to wear. They were not given to them and they were not forced to wear. Just saying. (Also I and many others do not find Lady Gagas fashion choice creative.)

shewhomustnotbeshamed
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shewhomustnotbeshamed

PREACH

Mai
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Mai

The Obama children wearing 2 strand twists is different than if they had 12 inch press on toenails or chocolate bars in their hair. 2 strand twists go back to African roots. Candy bars and 12 inch nails do not. Let’s not confuse one with the other. Fox is also generally watched by conservatives while CNN is watched by liberals (generally speaking). Also many of the negative comments I heard about that incident, ironically came from black mouths. Many of the white people I talked to we’re confused about the situation. And I can also believe many of those negative… Read more »

shewhomustnotbeshamed
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shewhomustnotbeshamed

it is different.…but only to those who see us as individuals, which tragically mainstream (white) culture does not

hyspin
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hyspin

Honestly it a case of your damn if you do and your damned if you don’t, get offended that is. Frankly this is why I have slight offensiveness to rap videos they push these images to American culture not considering that those same images are then pushed world wide with no contrasting imagery creating a negative image of black people to cultures with a very small or no black culture. Which create assumption that is what black people are. But if you want to know if I am offended. No should I be, well it is not up for you… Read more »

Lucy
Guest

My only saying is why do we keep reading them?You all know they try to make money where ever they can see the opportunity.Lets focuse on our own publications and give our hard earned money to ours.Let them mock us if they please.In our part,lets look forward and put our effort in making what ever we do better and claim what is ours every time we see it robbed…

monalisa
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monalisa

I agree that the images are ridiculous and funny and entertaining. I don’t consider it directly offensive to me because they are making fun of people who dress like that which I don’t and most black women don’t. However most of the people who dress like that happen to be black and somehow even for those of us normal people who don’t go out in public like that, because we are black, some people will associate us with those kinds of styles. Therefore it is INDIRECTLY offensive to me even though it has nothing to do with me. I know… Read more »

monalisa
Guest
monalisa

and also I do not believe they are trying to “pay tribute” to black style. Not with a tongue in cheek title like “Haute Mess”. A hot mess is what you call something as you’re laughing at it and ridiculing it, not admiring it and emulating it. Just saying…

Nic
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Nic

ITA with Monalisa. As we all know, Vogue is INFAMOUS for doing underhanded mixed message garbarge. “Slave earrings” anyone? So, I don’t read nor subscribe to it. Unfortunately, we are all in the same boat. I would love to think that no one sees that when they see me, but no matter how expensive my clothes are, how expensive my car, or how much money in the MMA I have; when some hillbilly asks me why the sink at the Target doesn’t work when I am NOWHERE in red or khaki or if I know when they are restocking organic… Read more »

Nic
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Nic

BTW, Hillbilly SinkGate happened last night. Wearing denim and pink. Hot pink. In electronics. No where near the bathroom. Skipping over three Mexican employees in KHAKI and RED to ask my black self. Ugh!

Sam
Guest
Sam

I have friends from all over the globe and when they first thought about moving to the US, they thought we were all violent, walking around with guns and killing each other. That is no different than when white people see this with no true knowledge of black culture and associate this with black people. Everyone wants to think just because they “think” they don’t look like that it doesn’t apply to them. Well wake up people, it does! Bad enough, there aren’t many mainstream black models or minority models in general and then to display this. I just want… Read more »

anastasia
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anastasia

I agree and I also agree w/: “I would never wear any of these, but I give it up to the women who rock original styles like these. I pass no judgement! They are creative as h*ll!”

pinkgirlfluff
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pinkgirlfluff

I really do not understand the purpose of the spread to be honest. I’m not a fan of sites or articles that make fun of women that do not know better. Society pushes these images of beauty and they try to mimic that look at the price range they can afford. Now it may not turn out the way some of us would prefer but I cannot blame them for trying. Every woman wants to feel beautiful no matter what her economic status. When I notice that I’m being judgemental about how somebody looks I try to check myself. It’s… Read more »

Ann
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Ann

I’m black and I don’t care who wants to make fun of those ridiculous, obviously fake wigs that black women seem to take such pride in, our whole culture seems to be going the way of fake, where I live, if 10 women pass by, 8 of them will be wearing wig, weave or braids, maybe if white people start mocking them they will take pride in what we have naturally and stop the crap, it’s embarrassing!

Miss Upwardly
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Miss Upwardly

I’m sorry, y’all, but I don’t see me as a black woman when I look at the pics being mocked. I see zaniness (at best) and craziness at worst.

I guess the question for me is why do you feel Vogue is dissing “black women” with this editorial when the vast majority of black women don’t walk around looking like so. Why can’t Vogue just be poking fun at a crazy azz subculture that surely most of your readers don’t condone or subscribe to?

IJS…

monalisa
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monalisa

Because it’s not about what YOU see. You see the truth which is that that is not you. A lot of people, especially non‐black people don’t see that truth. As far as they are concerned, that might as well be you and they will treat you as such.

Miss Upwardly
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Miss Upwardly

I understand, Monalisa. But that is someone’s truth…and those some ones are black women. Who are we or anyone to say that they must change? I guess I am wondering when black people — women in particularly — will stop feeling the burn from every negative depiction that makes it to mainstream. Mind you, there are many of our brothers and sisters who don’t find such dress and style negative at all. If we as black women want to combat these “negative” images, we can’t erase them. The only way to do it is to put out just as many… Read more »

monalisa
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monalisa

I do agree very much with that last statement about putting out positive images. It’s frustrating though when you’re only one person and you realize you are so outnumbered by people who DO fit the stereotype. But your outlook is a positive optimistic way of looking at it so thanks 🙂

Tiffany
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Tiffany

Where did my comment go?

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

Ok. BGLHonline.com please finalize the article before posting it on the site. I definitely was the first to make a comment, that I took alot of time typing may I add, but because the article was edited afterwards my comment was automatically deleted (giving the benefit of the doubt). #disheartening

Anatural
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Anatural

All I will say is that they do look fucking ridiculous. I want to make fun of their low class asses so why is racist when white people do it. No one with any sense of style or class can possibly tell me that these women look good with seven colored weaves looking like toucan Sam and candy rappers glued to the side of their head. These women lower the bar for black woman who strive to achieve something besides the shanaynay ghetto hooray image. I understand where you might be trying to come from but when you step out… Read more »

Miz B
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Miz B

I BLAME NIKKI MINAJ!!! To those that do this…it’s NOT okay. You look like a fool and so does Nikki Minaj.

Monica
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Monica

IN MY OPINION, I think this is the ” pot calling the kettle black situation” I didnt see anyone write an article about how black women portray themselves and we need to change, I only see it when white people do something wrong. We can’t forget that vogue wouldn’t even have the opportunity to make pictures like this if they were not available in the first place. Sometimes we need to put on our own big girl pants and glasses and realize that there are people out there that like putting twix label in their hair, its what makes us… Read more »

Pia
Guest

Of course they look ridiculous! But it looks just as ridiculous in a Kingston dance hall club, in a Brooklyn nail salon or a Miami mall. Yes, Vogue has a powerful reach, but so do movies like BAPS and Dance Hall Queen, books like True to the Game, shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta, blah blah blah. If you are embarrassed by the stereotypes be embarrassed by the truth from which it stems. Or just accept that what some people like, others will think is comedic. I don’t know about you all, but I take no offense to this as… Read more »

Teya
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Teya

I may be in the very, very, very small minority by saying this but I like the pictures. Just because they are depicting “hood” style doesn’t mean that its not real style or not fashionable. It is fashionable to an American sub‐culture. I think that calling it “haute mess” and making a mockery is the wrong part (if that was the intent).

Dada
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Dada

I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I find it artsy and colorful. I don’t have a problem with it. Maybe because I also like mangas and animes. These pics remind me of harajuku girls.

Monica
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Monica

Thank you for saying this. I also find these hair and nail designs incredibly creative. I’m saddened by the tone of the conversation on this site. Don’t get it twisted. Natural hair is still a bit of a subculture and those people snickering at women for being haute messes and hot messes, laugh at us with our intricate braid designs, big (4c, 4d) Afros, free form locs, baldies, and basically anything other than a relaxed bob or weave styled to emulate straight Caucasian hair. Let’s celebrate the confidence and creativity required to wear these style. Why do we have to… Read more »

Vonne
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Vonne

I can’t say I’m surprised this is the same magazine that referred to hoop earrings as ‘slave earrings’. They are constantly race baiting. It’s so pathetic.

My only gripe is the title of the editorial. It would be fine if they wanted to pay homage to these women, but to refer to their look as a mess is disrespectful. I know many black people mock these women but I find it quite creative. I don’t see the difference between these women and the harajuku girls.

Rea
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Rea

I agree! There is no difference!

Elora
Guest

exactly!
they imitate us than debase us.
All black women should unsubscribe from them!

Kimberly
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Kimberly

IDK, I personally CRINGE when I see these Black women looking HAM. I don’t find it fashion forward at all but instead embrassing. I know many Black people themselves are laughing at these women. Should we really get mad when someone else does it? (Along the same argument as we the people using the N word). Everything is fair game, I say stop giving them negative stuff to mock us for.

Andrea
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Andrea

My thoughts exactly Kimberly!!

felicia reese
Guest
felicia reese

yes, we should all un subscribe, and send a letter while doing so

felicia

Charlese
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Charlese

What a novel concept: not everything is racially motivated! Your comparison to the harajuku girls was spot on!

shewhomustnotbeshamed
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shewhomustnotbeshamed

japanese people can be racially appropriated too

Truth
Guest
Truth

Careful with mixing up your Vogues. It was the very same Vogue Italia with The Black Issue who had the ‘slave earrings’ caption whereas I’m assuming this is US Vogue. None of the Vogues are run by the same teams, they are all just published under Conde Nast.

Beauty Is Diverse
Guest

Actually this editorial is from Vogue Italia not Vogue US.

Cyn
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Cyn

Just wanted to say that the history of hoop earrings does go back to slavery times. Before white people enslaved blacks, hoop earrings served as the mark of any slave regardless of culture. have you every noticed that fictional characters such as genies and Mr. Clean have hoop earrings? That’s the way slaves were identified. In that case — I wouldn’t necessarily see it as being racist. Otherwise, you make a very valid point regarding harajuku girls.

B. Jones
Guest

So I have a question…if Essence magazine were to do this same exact spread with Black and white models would we be having this conversation? I think not. I find it funny that Black people can sit and criticize others in our race for their “ghetto” hairstyles, make‐up, nails, etc. but as soon as someone else does it they’re being racist. A hot mess is a hot mess regardless. If Black girls were to dress up in goth/emo/redneck type attire I guarantee white blogs wouldn’t even be considered about it.

Lvflg
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Lvflg

B Jones you are sooooooo on point! thank‐you.

Jaz
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Jaz

YES! My thoughts exactly

Nubian
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Nubian

My thoughts exactly!! These are people who have been featured on “nowaygirl” and “hotmess” websites because they’re a ghetto hot mess!! They disrespected themselves the minute they decided to go outside looking like that!

Gloria
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Gloria

If you go outside looking like a wig and a peacock jumped on your head and had sex and your hairstyle is the result and people clown you don’t get mad. I never see kids looking like that. Its suppose to be grown women walking around looking a hot mess. Get it together.

Jasmine
Guest

Wig and Peacock! You had me cackling.

Chanel
Guest
Chanel

I was thinking the same thing. Not saying it isn’t wrong, but I am with you on this.

Tabs
Guest
Tabs

Thank you. I feel like everyone’s real issue is that like a small child you can’t get to shut up at nice function. It is what it is. They are a child, they have energy and despite how much it embarrasses you, you can’t truly stop it from happening. There are many black women that dress like this and think it looks good. I can’t for the life of me figure out why but when people who aren’t black point out it looks gross or terrible (because it does) that doesn’t mean they’re racist, it means that they are able… Read more »

ZX2425
Guest
ZX2425

I AGREE COMPLETELY!!!! The black women on the side by sides look a hot mess!!!! Although the spelling is different, the definition is the same. I understand it’s creativity and blah blah blah! It looks a mess!!!! We can’t call racism every time a non black person, or group of people, point out things that are “associated” with blacks. The only difference, as you mentioned, is they group us all in this boat. Even in a 16 piece suit with mink, diamonds, and all the glory in the world…to some non blacks you’re still a ghetto ass! While online, I… Read more »

Jasminicole
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Jasminicole

but i think the reason its a sensitive “issue” (sorry for the word play) is because the question is why do they think they can make fun of AA women — and focus SOLEY on them?? its not about whether they are making fun of me & my fashion personally, (we can agree the majority of us don’t dress like that), but why do some feel like black women can be the butt of the joke. how about pointing out all the crazy stuff people wear in general then instead of just the crazy stuff african american women do. black… Read more »

merry
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merry

@b jones:

of course we wouldn’t have this conversation if essence did this.

why not? essence would not do this type of spread because essence is mostly about trying to uplift black women. caricaturing black women, black people or “black culture” is not what they are all about.

that’s the point.

Tabs
Guest
Tabs

I think you all need to chill and say this to yourself. “I do not dress like this, this is not a representation of me and all black women. I should not be offended by this article because it only points out the existence of a culture.” Once you all get past the issue that this is not about you personally I think you will be able to realize that criticism and racism are not the same thing. So unless this article or spread is being used as a vehicle to educate Italian women that ALL black Americans dress like… Read more »

Amija
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Amija

The problem is that there are more negative images of black women than there are positive. So even though most of us don’t dress like this, it is still a representation of us. Unfortunately, a lot of other cultures look down upon us as black women. Why couldn’t they have done a spread on black doctors or black lawyers or black teachers? I’d like to see the day when we are judged by the positive and not the negative.

Truth
Guest
Truth

Because it’s a fashion magazine and they do not do spreads on members of the medical profession regardless of race. Do you know what Vogue is or are you just wanting to throw in your nonsensical 2 cents?

Sha
Guest
Sha

Rudeness unneeded.

Jack
Guest
Jack

You’re right it is a fashion magazine and doctors, teachers, and lawyers wear clothes. Models on the runway aren’t the only ones with style.

Tina
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Tina

I was wondering the same thing (about internal criticism and the race of the models), but I think the difference is that Vogue is a fashion magazine, and it displays style as art, so it has a responsibility to emphasize the high art instead of the low‐class gimmick of what’s featured. These photos are cringe‐worthy not because (most) of these models weren’t black. But their poses were high sexualized, which I took to be a Vogue’s representation of these styles (and possibly black women, generally) as low‐class, tawdry, cheap–to mock the women that inspired these photos, instead of presenting them… Read more »

Tabs
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Tabs

You would be hard pressed to find an image of a woman of any race in Vogue of any country that isn’t sexualized.

Tina
Guest
Tina

There’s a difference between sensual and sexual. That’s how you go from haute to mess.

Brittany
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Brittany

I agree.

Mimi
Guest
Mimi

*snaps fingers repeatedly* Thank you for confirming why I wasn’t necessarily feeling this should be offensive. Very good point.

Beauty Is Diverse
Guest

I agree with your statement anytime i hear someone call another person a hot mess it’s usually a black person but as soon as the tables are turned it becomes racist. smh.

Kaiya
Guest
Kaiya

That’s because when it is a white person saying it *is* racist. Other blacks don’t have the social influence to enforce their point of view so it stays personal opinion. But when whites decide something is a “mess” then it becomes the norm for everyone to think of it that way.

Monica
Guest
Monica

I think there would still be a debate. It would just be from a different angle. If Essence did this, black people would get on them for misrepresenting us. I understand what you are saying, but the point is that overall it is offensive to Black women, and because most people believe ONLY what they see in the media, this is how they perceive Black women period.. And sometimes their only close encounter with us, is through TV, magazines, etc.. And the only reason white blogs would not care is because of the past. History has shown & taught them… Read more »

Auty
Guest
Auty

I dont think vogue is making a mockery out of black people because idk about you but I nor any other black people i surround myself look like this. In fact im glad they did this spread maybe the women who do look like this will get inspired to change! In fact I thought they were making fun of nicki minaj at first!!!

Tula
Guest
Tula

I hope they don’t change for the sake of others..not my style but think it’s very creative. I think this is Vogue’s very slow death and claw to the bottom. The spread feels like their way of saying “if you can’t control it…make fun of it.” Everything we wear, eat, say and do today is due to someone stepping outside of the box. (Always annoys me when people say “be yourself”…it’s not an easy thing to be in a world of conformists who are so afraid of change and rejection. )

Truth
Guest
Truth

They’re doing fine with sales. They cover luxury fashion and even in these times of recession, luxury brands still sell. People here are lacking perspective and facts.

Annie L.
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Annie L.

I would advise those who think others are being ‘oversensitive’ to the imagery to travel throughout Europe and Asia. The PR for all Blacks — American, Caribbean, African, South American — is dire. This may not ‘be you’ but don’t for a second believe that most Blacks aren’t ‘guilty by association’. My experiences abroad have been rather good because I was an educated American with a neutral accent but I have been stung by ‘news’ programs misusing footage to proclaim widespread cannibalism throughout Africa or Plaxico Burress as an ‘I‐told‐you‐so’ barometer to measure all wealthy Black men by. Jewish and… Read more »

Maha
Guest
Maha

+ a million!!!
Think about the global message this is sending… Yes i do know first hand I live in Southern Europe

Lita
Guest
Lita

Yup, yup and yup. I wonder whether it’s a gift or a curse. At least in the UK, there are huge social problems among many communities, which are never publicised. However, problems among black communities make front page news. In a lot of ways we’ve lost the PR war, but perhaps we’re able to deal with our problems because they’ve been identified.

Truth
Guest
Truth

Not true about the UK — the Asian community take a battering as do muslims. Jesus be the truth!

dudubeauty
Guest

@ Annie L…Thank you so much! I wish black people would realize the bad press they get. No one cares if this is not you…Just please travel to Asia and let me know your experience…

Jack
Guest
Jack

EXACTLY! People that don’t grow up around black people or at least a group of diverse black people have no idea that we all don’t look and act like the black people they see on tv. For some the black people acting on tv is the only image they have of black people and it probably doesn’t even dawn on them that they few black people on tv doesn’t represent all black people. These are the same people that walk up to you and say stupid stuff and don’t realize how it could be offensive or rude to someone else.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

if we didn’t dress like this we wouldn’t have to worry now would we just sayin

EG
Guest
EG

Finally, someone points to the elephant in the room. It is a hot mess!!
The only reason why i’m confused is because Vogue is an established magazine, and I can’t believe they wasted ink on the spread.

Tula
Guest
Tula

Yeah, plus we should use more skin whitening creams and perms. I’m not saying we should dress like them, use Ebonics, perfect the neck roll technique etc but let’s face it…people will think whatever they wish regardless of how much we change to fit their ideals. Instead of PR and trying to control/change their opinion of us, why can’t we concentrate on creating more businesses, banks, media, sciences, medical, technology, investment, entertainment projects. Make school important to the young, middle and old in our communities. Low tolerance of black on black racism plus debasing our Own(VERY serious and big problem… Read more »

dh
Guest
dh

Amen! That’s what a lot of black folks don’t understand. It’s just like the school bully. They’re going to find something “wrong” with you no matter what you do. Changing every little thing they find to pick at is an endless game, because ultimately, they’re picking at us b/c we’re black. Can’t change that. I too get exasperated at the “change our public image” talk. I don’t think any one black person should shoulder the burden of living up to some racial image. Especially when the majority simply REFUSES to acknowledge how wonderful we are, anyway. Seriously. It should be… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

Damn…I know I’m late but @dh…who are you? Because you are BAD!!! And speaking the god honest TRUTH that every Black women need to know and imprint on her brain and it’s not just whites either.

Miss Upwardly
Guest
Miss Upwardly

I want sistahs to stop trying to fight every “unsavory” depiction involving us that makes it to mainstream. We can’t. It’s a losing battle. I understood the black face push back. But this, whether we like it or not, is somebody’s truth. And those somebodies happen to be black. We can’t stop these images from surfacing, mind you, when we have brothers and sisters who don’t take issue with this style of dress. All we can do is our parts to add more “positive” depictions to the mainstream mix so that the portrayal of us is balanced and fair. However,… Read more »

dudubeauty
Guest

All we can do is our parts to add more “positive” depictions to the mainstream mix so that the portrayal of us is balanced and fair”

Don’t you think we all ready have more than a fair share of positive and in this case fashionable black women in the mainstream? Some of the most fashionable women in the past and presently in pop culture are black…Yet, they went ahead to dig this up. The Media which is mostly white will never acknowledge this because they can’t poke fun that way. It’s an uphill battle

dh
Guest
dh

I think this stuff is coming from a place of pure envy. I honestly think they don’t want to show black models b/c they make white women look like wet dogs — hard to sell products to white women when the model is black and more striking than they’ll ever hope to be. Furthermore, all the racism and hate is because no matter how second‐class they treat us, we always carry ourselves with a boldness, courage, strength and power that they can’t seem to muster for themselves. Say what you want about the ladies who walk around with sky‐high neon… Read more »

Ami
Guest
Ami

I like your point about about michelle o! your so right, I’ve never seen so many undercurrents of racism in fashion since she proved black women are elegant and stylish. Its like we’ve encroached on something (to be honest black women have always had good style even if we had to look at magazines and make the damn dress ourselves) and now its very visible and they are fighting back. But in all these discussions what we should all take from this is that we are the embodiment of elegance because other say we aren’t, yet we prove it everyday.… Read more »

Dominique
Guest
Dominique

But, they did pay a black model to dress that way. Her name is Joan Smalls and she’s on the cover as well.

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

I agree completely! Your whole statement speaks of the great complexities in understanding race relations. Your statement reminds me of T.V. cosmetic ads that only show the black model for about 3 seconds.

Naima
Guest
Naima

you got it right! my granny taught me the same thing about the envy of whites and others not black). we are uniquely human and beautiful. physically arresting even in caricature. (you can see all of this and more on the buslines in atlanta!) i’m the plain sort but i get creative sometimes just because i can. nothing can be done about this mockery and usurpation of black african styles. it’s a white european problem. and since they own things and run things our alternative is simple: remain calm and carry on!

Kamuanya
Guest
Kamuanya

First of all can we agree that not all black women dress with elaborate hairstyles and elaborately painted nails. So I agree that this may be a poor representation of black women overall. Nevertheless, I think as black North American and Caribbean women (who tend to have this fashion) need to be less sensitive to this. If really, you’re ok with this style then there’s no reason to be upset about it. @ B. Jones, I agree. If Essence was doing this would the reaction be the same?! Come on ladies, there’s people dying daily, souls that need salvation, marriages… Read more »

Aeris
Guest
Aeris

@ Kamuanya
Excuse me but Caribbean women do not dress this way. Bright colours in hair and such are used for Carnival. Please do not misunderstand. Looking like that in everyday is frowned upon and no Caribbean person’s mother would EVER let them leave the house looking like that. Those styles depicted are strictly American. Thank you very much.

Als
Guest
Als

That is true.. I haven’t seen any Caribbean women dressing like that outside of the carnival and even then, not so extreme. We’re from small communities and your family name and respect is more important than extreme fashion individuality.

Gen
Guest

Maybe she meant Caribbean women in the U.S. I’m Jamaican and grew up in New York City. Whenever my sister or I see a grown woman (like 30s and 40s mind you) with a flamoyant and colorful hairstyle, excessive gold jewelry and clothes about 2 sizes too small we already know it’s a yardie (Jamaican). Hearing her speak and hearing the patois is only confirmation. I’m not sure why this is the case but if you ever happen to go to Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York this is and has been a trend for years. I’ve seen this in… Read more »

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[…] Making Fun Of Black Women With These Photos? 0 March 13, 2012 by tjsotomayor Vogue’s Haute Mess Editorial: A Not‐So‐Subtle Swipe at Black Women By: Tommy ‘Tj’ Sotomayor III |Published: Sunday, March 13th, 2012, 3:52 PM (on […]

Misst
Guest
Misst

People at the end of the day whether they are mocking black women or not, black women are successful, colorful, have beautiful lips, hips, and butts. We are often INMITATED but never Duplicated. Take it in stride my sisters we are Powerful, and they want to be like us.

isola
Guest
isola

I think we read into things way too much and thus give it too much power. I am not offended, they were not in black face. What identified them as black? I went to a school with a large Italian American population and they were known for the big hair, nails and colorful outfits. Let’s be real some of us have ridiculed our own sisters with the over the top hair and outlandish clothes. Black Vogue is one of the websites I enjoy checking out and will continue to. They give exposure to artistic individuals I wouldn’t normally see.

jeje1718
Guest
jeje1718

Call me naive but I am actually not offended by this. At some point we need to stop being overly analytical and sensitive about things. I got the point. The mannequin was over‐dressed in fancy coloured weave and long acrylic fingernails etc etc. If you do not fall into this mold then it really shouldnt bother you. As a matter of fact, there are women of other races that do dress like this (colored weaves, long nails etc). I do not know, maybe they are poking fun at black women, but for some reason I cannot readily assume that.

I do not see it...
Guest
I do not see it...

I agree, before I read BGLH my 1st thought was, Snooki and drag queens. Vibe magazine taking the moral high road?! I am Kenyan and now live in Australia and magazines like Vibe,The Source, channels like BET, are the reason why some ignorant Africans refer to themselves as “my nigger”, dress like wannabe gangsters and are totally confused about their “black” identity…they are also the reason why some random Australian sees me and immediately changes the way they speak “What’s up girrlll!”. If you want to blame anybody for perpetuating the stereotype look within the black american community 1st, Vogue… Read more »

Wande
Guest
Wande

It’s too difficult for the caped crusaders here to look closer to home and see the truth. Is this depiction racist? No, I don’t think so. It is a fashion magazine being what it’s supposed to be, a cultural mirror for the times, capturing the zeitgeist whether that is indeed fashion bloggers and editors in Paris, Harajuku girls in Japan or Precious in Harlem and Denise in Hackney. They’re snapshots of differents parts of different cultures. I doubt you will see anything anywhere that says ‘this is all black women, let’s point and laugh.’ still that section of the black… Read more »

Siri
Guest
Siri

@ Wande You must be so high class that you saw it fit to point out that you do not associate yourself with people like that…hmmm good for you. I have a quick question, what makes their self expression any less valid? because Vogue said it isn’t high fashion? or because you don’t deem it proper for your sensibilities? SMH

Wande
Guest
Wande

Loosen that cape, it’s stifling your ability to use your common sense facility and not your permanently outraged one. You make too many assumptions about me, grow up!

lauren
Guest
lauren

Black people make fun of this kind of attire all the time, a hot mess is a hot mess, stop taking it so seriously/personally… there are way more important things to split hairs over

Tapiwa African
Guest
Tapiwa African

Yeah this definitely crosses the line being ghetto is never a compliment it was a social issue being subjected to poor living conditions… Lets just say No to crossing the line ..a mess? No way tolerance to such is absurd…

Trinisoul
Guest
Trinisoul

I agree that they look a hot mess.I don’t care if it is said by vogue or any other magazine. It is fashion/style taken that step to far so much so that it no longer falters the person’s look. IT is a ‘HOT MESS’. Should I be offended that it is done by a stereotypical magazine, no. What offends me is that it is predominantly done by women of black ethnicity. Wanted to call them out on the street many a time. Caucasians (white) are more likely to compliment my natural, weaves or singles than a black person would. It… Read more »

Barbara
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Barbara

No more like a not so subtle swipe at GHETTO/trashy black women and that sub culture deserves mocking, I sure do, mock it that is.

nicole
Guest

I have to ask, since it isn’t in the posting, where did the images of the real black girls come from? I’m not convinced that one “inspired” the other, mainly because of this missing piece of info. The way the editorial was presented here, just one image next to a “real” photo only makes it harder to see the real context of the photos. The photos should stand on their own. When they do, it is easy to see that the editorial piece was done in bad taste, no question. I smells rotten and has all types of negative associations.… Read more »

Mai
Guest
Mai

If you go to the website that is linked in the article, you see the “originals” aren’t even there. Instead it is just the high fashion pics. So they do stand in their own. It’s just this specific article on BGLH, puts the photos next to each other as a comparison. To be honest, I don’t even think most non‐black people would see the correlation. And many black people wouldn’t either.

anon
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anon

This post makes me feel sad it was well written but you see this image on Vogue Magazine and automatically think this ghetto image represents us as a whole. I nor do my black friends or siblings dress, look like this. When I saw this picture I didn’t even associate it with black people before reading this post

ashley
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ashley

I totally agree with your comment!

Michelle
Guest

Most of the comments on this post make me really sad. This isn’t about whether or not black women dress this way in real life. To be honest, I’m not even concerned. Some black women do. Some black women don’t. As long as either or are comfortable and proud with their appearance, they are beautiful. Whether or not someone steps out of their door looking like this is NOT my issue. My problem is that Vogue Italia only deemed this kind of look “valuable” once it was on white women. It should bother you that they directly lifted the styles… Read more »

Auset
Guest

+1

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

i hear you, but at the same time, it’s like what can we do about it? i’m all for feeling rage, but i have nothing more than apathy for this not because it doesn’t concern me, but it doesn’t directly affect me. if i could change it i would. honestly though vogue steals ideas all the time. were native americans and native africans enraged when vogue and others steal their feather crown hat thing (i don’t know what they’re actually called, but you know that feathery thing that they wear around their heads), and loads of jewelry that look like… Read more »

Kaiya
Guest
Kaiya

These images influence the way mainstream culture views all of us whether we dress that way or not. Think about an article like this next time some white girl asks you if you’ve ever worn a weave or whether you can clap your butt or calls something on your person ghetto then keep saying it doesn’t affect you. This is an extremely valid battle to fight because the combination of all of these images the white media keeps putting out there affect how we are viewed. Like how harshly our appearance is judged when we go to job interviews, whether… Read more »

Eby
Guest
Eby

I agree! And personally, I would have said “whatever, black is beautiful; imitation is the highest form of flattery, blah blah blah.” But the vogue spread is not even an “inspiration” of the original photos. The copied them to the details and put them on white counterparts. They just added a few things. To me, they were making a caricature of the original black ladies. I know we don’t want to cry racism at the drop of the hat, but I don’t think we should be blind either just so our feelings don’t get hurt. Why did they copy the… Read more »

Antoinette Stewart
Guest

I actually love this spread — it’s creative and chic. No one’s faces are painted “brown” so eh whats the deal. ?

Amber
Guest

The moment I saw it I felt like it was a mockery and insult to black women. But you know what I could care less anymore, I just don’t read the bullsh*t.

Dionne
Guest
Dionne

Worth reading for some perspective… http://blog.myfdb.com/2012/03/what-a-haute-mess/ Apparently, the shoot was meant to poke fun at the “over‐the‐topness” of haute couture. “many fashion enthusiasts continue to be confused concerning what determines the defining line between high end, chic couture ensembles and just some uber expensive, tacky outfits. Luckily, Vogue Italia?s March 2012 editorial gives readers a visual lesson on what constitutes a haute mess.” “The models are done up in out of control looks that include dramatically colorful weaves plastered with candy wrappers, obnoxiously vibrant makeup and ghastly long nails adorned with animal prints… trashy is taken to a new level… Read more »

bluethenaturalmami
Guest
bluethenaturalmami

I don’t take offense to this because 1) This IS a Hot Mess, 2) I don’t dress like this and 3) I have seen black women, white women, asian women, hispanic women, and all kinds of women dressed this way! SMH

Cyn
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Cyn

I totally agree with you…A Hot mess is a HAUTE MESS! Regardless of culture, trend or race — it is what it is! unfortunately, “we” black people (author of blog specifically) seems to take offense to every issue that could possibly be pointed at black folk — it’s a mess — just call a spade a spade — Honestly, it’s about time the media exposed this foolishness as just that — FOOLISHNESS

ashley
Guest
ashley

How can some of you look at these photos and think that they are mocking black women? I just see a model looking a hot mess. it is sad that the author of this post saw colorful hair, colorful long acrylic finger nails, hairstyles that were decked out with weave galore and automatically associated this with black women. Is that what defines us? I did not know that these things were limited to black women only. If having colorful hair and colorful long acrylic finger nails is associated with being a black woman, I’m just curious to know what am… Read more »

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

i honestly didn’t even know black women, ghetto or otherwise, were walking around with candy wrappings in their hair. lol this in and of itself was news to me! but maybe that’s a sign that out of the loop is probly where i should remain. there’s less drama in my neck of the hood!

Marta Daniels (@Marta_Daniels)
Guest

I’m not thrilled with this at all, I don’t get the spirit its coming out of, but I know it’s a spirit I don’t like.

Monzi
Guest
Monzi

WOW, where were these black women at that their hair looked like that?! I never seen snack wrappers in someone’s hair! O.O

Monzi
Guest
Monzi

Also, when you click the link to see the full spread on Vogue Italia’s website…the model’s poses are so sexual (not sexual as what we know to seem “sexy”)but sexual as in raunchy explicit innuendos (look at the gif of the girl with cheetos, the cup and straw and girl with the teardrops). It’s disturbing and is this how they see these black women? Hoes that only know how to give blow jobs or something…c’mon!

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

great point, but truly, is it anything new? i’m not sure things will ever change until black people start taking themselves seriously. if we don’t, why should anyone else? well, they should, but why WOULD they? also, this same thing happened with Pat Boone. and Elvis. the list goes on. it’s sad.
but honestly, i’ve never read Vogue. I’ve heard of it, but i don’t ready ANY white magazines. i’m not a magazine reader period though, but i’ve read way more Jet. kinda the way that they don’t generally check for us, we should probly return the favor.

Linda
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Linda

Vogue’s promoting negative propaganda about black women, so stop buying their magazines. F@?k the white media. The purpose is to mock and degrade black people. It’s been like that since the beginning of AmeriKKKa. Remember the minstral shows, Amos and Andy and present day black films like Tyler Perry etc…make millions out of ridiculing black women. We support all the dumb comedians, rappers etc who debase us. We have to focus on ourselves, loving and healing self. Stop giving time, attention and money to people who HATE you. Love yourself and kind. Love and Peace sistas.

shasha
Guest
shasha

it’s really not as bad as it seems. honestly, they wouldn’t know about it if we stopped puttin the family business out there in the streets. this stuff used to be in our community but now somebody’s going to profit from it good, bad or ugly. that’s capitalism.

kalexa1
Guest
kalexa1

No, that’s WHITE opportunistic capitalism in flow.

Danielle
Guest
Danielle

I can understand how a magazine with a history of racial insensitivity publishing these photos can bring up feelings of racism, but why do we feel the need to defend these women? These styles aren’t apart of black culture…they’re ghetto. Ghetto IS NOT apart of MY black culture, so I am not offended. If they were calling natural hair, brown skin, and full lips a “haute mess”, I would take issue, but that is not the case. I feel that everyone knows these hair styles and nails are atrocious but for some reason it’s not okay for non‐black people to… Read more »

kalexa1
Guest
kalexa1

I think the issue and irony here might be that Vogue have never acknowledged black women per se as a part of society worth including in the realms of beauty and their magazine. They are not inclusive but rather exclusive to eurocentric beauty and they have been for decades. Then along comes this article and …well.… you get the rest. Balanced in context of a healthy inclusion of black beauty and hair in their magazine would make this piss‐take much easier to accept.

Thin and Natural
Guest
Thin and Natural

Maybe if black women quit running around looking a hot mess, Vogue wouldn’t find inspiration for their Haute Mess. I mean, look where the original photo cropped up on. NOW WAY GIRL, for a reason. I think it’s ridiculous that blacks get upset when other ppl make fun of the very thing blacks make fun of. Put an S on your chest and deal. We are not the “untouchables”.

Anne
Guest
Anne

Was it about black women or the Hispanic /latin Look..This look really more like the Latin american women who when there ready wear alot of this stuff hence the |Heavy makeup which is alot more like them…when they do there Hot mess thing…

trackback

[…] coming from a high fashion magazine! Many have slammed the spread, including LJ Knight over at Black Girl Long Hair, who wrote: My problem with images like these has and always will be the same. The wise old debate […]

SoThroughWithTheMad
Guest
SoThroughWithTheMad

If you don’t want to be referred to as a “hot mess/haute mess” or you cannot stand to be criticized, or mocked, for your style (hair, clothes, make up, etc) stop being so ridiculous in the things you do… Example: I love Oreos but I’d be a fool to spray paint it on the side of my head unless Nabisco was cutting me in on profits for marketing. Also, how many women in Jersey and NY (regardless of race) go overboard with the hair, make up and nails? And Harajuku, being a real place, has had their own culture of… Read more »

BrooklynShoeBabe
Guest

I’m not defending Vogue for this foolishness in the slightest, but those looks were kind of hot messes on the originators and hot messes on Vogue Italia recreating them. I know us urban girls like to experiment and take looks to the next level, but sometimes the looks don’t fly. *SMH* I don’t understand the extra long toenail talon.…

tia
Guest
tia

Jesus, cool off. some people just want to find something to be offended
of and then bitch about it.
i think this photoshoot is just brave and cool to be printed in vogue.
it certanly extraordinary and portarys some aspects of urban culture.
and certanly there are people out there who dress like that and maybe they like it. so what? it’s their business. why be offended of truth?

GJ
Guest
GJ

I don’t know i thought it was bit of a cheap shot, and it almost like Vogue it and Meisel’s trying harder than they need to be IN with the black folks over the few years, and… when they try it gets , idk, whiter. Sorry, let’s face it they think they’re the enlightened ones who CARE and pulling all these act but had they woken themselves up and decided to give a shit then they should’ve been providing black girls with right hair products for black girls on set (Which Chanel Iman says still seems like a big deal)… Read more »

Rama
Guest
Rama

It’s a hot mess when anyone looks like this. I’m not angry at the Italian’s for showing it like it is. Walking around with an OREO logo in your hair, really?! I cringe when I see black women with fake hair in general, and by fake I mean any hair whose roots are not coming from your scalp. Fake hair is so passe.

Crystal
Guest
Crystal

Here’s the thing. If the Black women who wear that stuff wouldn’t, then what would Vogue and others like it have to use? Let’s face it, there are those who DO wear that stuff and think it makes them look cute. Nope. I don’t think so. But before we cry racist, let’s clean up our own back yard first. People are curious. Whether or not that is racist, matters not to me. They don’t define me, my Creator does. Can we PLEASE stop making everything about race and instead promote true beauty, which is healthy, natural well groomed tresses. No… Read more »

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[…] coming from a high fashion magazine! Many have slammed the spread, including LJ Knight over at Black Girl Long Hair, who wrote: My problem with images like these has and always will be the same. The wise old debate […]

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[…] Source 1 & 2 […]

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[…] Source 1 & 2 […]

Kit
Guest
Kit

IMO, as a designer, I think the Vogue pix look cool. The makeup & use of color in general is actually quite beautiful. It’s also more high fashion than the original inspirations. Can’t you simply see this spread as merely an interpretation of a style, that happened to be shown on Whites? Not everything is about race! On the contrary, this actually makes you seem racist because all you see is race.

kalexa1
Guest
kalexa1

Just seeing race is not racism. The term seems truly misunderstood by white people who seem to bandy it about at the mere mention of colour. “Oh, sorry I didn’t want to say the word black in case you thought I was being racist” .. omg…puhleeeeeze someone educate them as to how ignorant and paranoid they sound!

Stevanie
Guest
Stevanie

C’mon ladies. You cant honestly tell me that those looks arent a hot mess. I actually think vogue turned them into something artistic and worth looking at.

trackback

[…] Vogue’s Haute Mess Editorial: A Not‐So‐Subtle Swipe at Black Women by LJ Knight (March 12, 2012) […]

young&natural
Guest
young&natural

For one i am not blaming vogue these women do it to themselves. look at it skittles twix oreo wrappers in your hair. what would possess you do do something so ungraceful and ignorant. did they get paid for adverising those brands. they made theirselves walking billboards and a laughing stock. vouge wasnt mocking african american women, black women (however you chose to phrase it) in my eyes they only made light of SOME ignorant women(ladies, girls) for what they thought was cute,hot,hawte. i as an african american woman wouldnt dont feel particular way against vogue because that isnt me… Read more »

kat
Guest
kat

I think the original inspiration is pretty bad but what would have made more sense is if vogue had made the models look good
Lets face it thats basically what niki menaj and Katy Perry are doing
They should have gone all races young punks with the models and made it cool
Then it would have been an homage and vogue would have got respect for being truly creative, seeing the beauty in everything is what art is all aboujt
The only integrity they have left is the
previous naturals shoot as that shows vogue at least knows the difference

Rashida
Guest
Rashida

I believe everyone has the right to express themselves how ever they see fit as long as theyre not hurting anyone. I try to live my life without judging people based on the way that they choose to decorate their bodies. I think it takes a lot of courage to step outside of the mainsteam and showcase your individuality. But when you decide to take fashion risks you have to have thick enough skin to be able to handle the critics. This article is clearly highlighting women who are taking risks and not making fun of black women for the… Read more »

Chachamusicgirl
Guest

They forgot to include the white girls who love to rock uggs and shorts in the summer, pajamas and sweat suits to school, booty or poom poom shorts and filthy looking flip flops and tore up cracked feet in dire need of a pedicure. They also forgot to include the Hispanic girls with the dark lip liner, ten sizes too tight clothes with their rolls hanging out and sweaty onion‐y smelling armpits in need of deodorant. Oh and the Asians with unflattering salad bowl haircuts, no make up and corns and bunions on their feet wearing dilapidated ate up flip… Read more »

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

That’s what I’m screaming, and whether this truly represents us all or not is besides the point. We need to stick together in defending each other as women, and as Black women. No matter how “trashy” the White woman who was supposedly raped by a Black man, the klan was coming in full heat, bc they defend White ppl! And look at the way that the MAJORITY of Latin America is taking up for Mexico after Donald Trumps statements! THEY DONT PLAY when it comes to defending their own!!! Why can’t Black ppl do the same???

KAT64
Guest
KAT64

My hope is that we can come together as HUMANS & defend each other. I am white & I am NOT standing up for Donald Trump or anyone else who acts like such a complete ass! But I hear what you’re saying.

CurlsGalore
Guest
CurlsGalore

And I hope you bring that message to white oriented boards, since the racial division is a white construct. Just curious why are you on message board about black women and their hair?

KAT64
Guest
KAT64

CurlsGalore — Thanks for asking. I have this crazy long frizzy hair that’s unattractive & impossible to manage, especially in summer. I’m too old for 2 girlish braids & get tired of a bun. I was at a baseball game & they put a picture of Bo Derek with her cornrows on the big screen. I thought “Hmmm, maybe I should do that.” I get home that night, open Facebook & there’s an article bashing white women for appropriating black hairstyles. So I read about that, trying to understand a different perspective.

tasha fierce
Guest
tasha fierce

it’s not as if they’re making fun of her natural hair, she looks stupid and i for one am laughing at her.

Rachel D.
Guest
Rachel D.

Maybe the black women who wear their hair and makeup like this will realize they too look like clowns. I am embarrassed as a black woman to see other black women look like this.

lottie b!
Guest

I live in an area that is 86% white and BELIEVE me I’ve seen many of white women qualify as WORLD CLASS wrecks no matter what they try to do. DON’T believe the hype! White women look a mess too sometimes. Just look around.

nox lumen
Guest
nox lumen

So sistas, as a white girl in Chicago, you know what stood out to me about many a black woman? There seem to be a high percentage of you that take fashion into the realm of living art. Yes, the dark skinned version of the literal translation of geisha: art person. I would be that crazy white chick on the train that isn’t shy about saying something because I think you got the right ideal about it. But the thing about art is that you will always have people who don’t get it, don’t like it, laugh at it, and… Read more »

kalexa1
Guest
kalexa1

As a black woman exposed to, dare I say, a larger demographic of black men and women than perhaps yourself, I wouldn’t define it as a ‘high percentage’. In relation to what? Consider the number of black women (and it is huge) who are by comparison very conservative in their dress sense. They are numerous in relation to the out‐there trends shown here. Yes the ghetto fabulouso do exist but one annoying thing is when someone with a limited exposure to black culture(s) in all its diverse diaspora sees a group of black people and think that it’s a HUGE… Read more »

IcebergSlim
Guest
IcebergSlim

Did you just call us “sistas”? You don’t see the issue with that?! I #cant. Girl, bye. This isn’t even worth engaging in a conversation about, because you’ll make some ridiculous statement about how it’s a “term of endearment” or showing love/respect.

Beyond that, this is a website about the cultural implications, experience/politics of Black hair. Your presence here confounds me.

I was about to go further on your comment, but you know what, it’s not worth the keystrokes. #done

Honestly Jay
Guest

I hate that. When people throw up the “Caucasian” I’ve had Hispanic, black, Caucasian, Italian, African and Hawaiian come up to me and say something nice and negative about my hair. It’s not one sided. It’s only a black and white issue because we make it one.

Alicia
Guest
Alicia

They aren’t laughing at us they are laughing at ghetto people. I do not associate myself with people like that nor do I plan to do it anytime in the near future. I even get a good laugh when I see them in the mall with their fat rolls, big weave, colorful faces, and gaggle of children. Until we realize that, that behavior and look does not apply to black culture there will never be a change to the stereotype. I don’t put my hand in fire for fools that want to look and act like that, and I am… Read more »

Ministry101
Guest
Ministry101

Black folk make class devisions. White people dont. They are laughing at black people.

SKEEWEE
Guest
SKEEWEE

Exactly! They see us ALL this way no matter what, unfortunately. I don’t see them dissing the lower socioeconomic groups of other cultures/races, and I know the trailer park has a quite a few clowns in it. Yet, once again, Black women have been made the butt of the joke, all at the hands of Vogue. Why didn’t they to emulate the more affluent of Black culture? Surely, it’s not bc they don’t want us to be seen as more desirable :/

rainbow
Guest
rainbow

They are not laughing with that woman, they are laughing at her, and so am I.

Alternatively...
Guest
Alternatively...

Ok, in all honesty, they deserve to be mocked. Plain and simple.

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

It is known that most fashion is emulated off the backs of black men and women. Fashion designers often go to the urban areas or to so called 3rd world countries looking for authentic fashion design inspired by Blacks and natives. Blacks have been known to create some of the wildest fashion statements that often appeal to known designers. It just shows that out of necessity comes a fashion sense of your own that is well perceived, without acknowledgement, from major fashions industries. Minorities have always been the muse of fashion and gossip and I gather it will not stop… Read more »

kalexa1
Guest
kalexa1

Well said. I believe it’s known as exploitation and ripping off talent, without of course acknowledging the black source. It’s being (and has been done for centuries) by whites/non‐blacks to black peoples’: music, dance, speech/dialect/phrases, design, fashion, .…and more recently (a la Kardashians et al) our body characteristics. Who’d have thought it? Big butts, big lips, big hair, .…..the list goes on & on. I remember being laughed to ridicule along with other black people by white children (and the teacher) were shown black african people with rings through their noses and plugs in their ear lobes and markings on… Read more »

lecia p
Guest
lecia p

Let’s be honest she looks a HOT mess. But I also know beauty is art & art is subjective not only to the executioner if said art but to the viewers of this art. I try not to knock ppl fashion sense but it’s AND bc it’s not mine. Spray painting Oreo on your head is bat sh*t tacky to me but so someone else…us artistic gold. Andy Warhol art depicting brands is worth milliobs. Jbc some stuck up art gallery know‐it‐all hasn’t labeled the Oreo logo as genius art doesn’t mean it can’t be appreciated by the right p… Read more »

Stephine Griffith
Guest
Stephine Griffith

both a no for me

Camille
Guest
Camille

The faces that the models were instructed do alone make me glad that I have only purchased 3 issues my entire life. There was always something a little off about them to me even as far as mainstream white fashion magazines go.

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