Vogue Magazine Did Not Make 2022 The Year Of African Women! African Women Themselves Made 2022 Their Year


by Nana Tamakloe
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British Vogue has orchestrated a PR campaign encouraging African and black press to publish them in a good light for their recent cover which featured 9 black models. The models were darkened by the photographer in order to create the absolute black-skinned effect.

The article to date is their most liked cover on their wall proving that black models sell magazines very well. Something Vogue magazine denied and failed to realize for over a century.

African Journals Paid To Praise Vogue? PR

It’s almost as if the history and racist past of Vogue magazine has been whitewashed and erased from the world’s memory as they chose to gloat themselves as being the savior of the African model, Vogue’s racist history was so bad there were times where their antics will be ignored because people got tired of complaining or it seemed like publicity stunts. One publication at Africa.com stated ‘It’s Official: British Vogue Has Made 2022 The Year of the African Model – Africa.com’.

African Women Made 2022 The Year of the African Model, Not Vogue

British Vogue Has Made 2022 The Year of the African Model? A very insulting title to the hard work and efforts put in my African models around the world to leverage themselves to where they are today. Works by Naomi Campbell works by Adut Akech, works by the countless dark Sudanese girls going viral on the internet. Works by photographers that have produced and shown the world the beauty of dark-skinned models. Blogs like FashionGHANA.com challenged continuously the bleaching epidemic but promoted dark-skinned beauty and models. And most importantly works by the general public that helped make these images thrive and go viral.

Nyakim Gatwech

All of this is what took models like Nyakim Gatwech (see page here) and Khoudia Diop (see page here) and more and turned them into celebrities, worldwide international celebrities. All of whom mingled their way to the top, not through cosmopolitan, not through elle, not through vogue, but through social media platforms and small blogs that did not deny black beauty.

Khoudia Diop

For all the publications that have turned a blind eye to the struggles of black beauty in the fashion space, no no no no! Vogue did not make 2022 the year for African models, African models made 2022 The Year for African models. No need to white wash black history as a struggle thus far.

Same Black Model Publicity Stunt 14 Years Later

Ironically enough, this follows just a little over 10 years since Italia Vogue’s Black Edition. A publicity stunt that had the Italian Vogue publication go viral with images of the leading black models at the time shot by Steve Meisel.

The so-called ‘Black Vogue’ at the time was a pseudo apology from the magazine for years of pushing the mantra that ‘black women don’t sell magazines. Again it was a hop on the bandwagon following the cultural change in the year where Barack Obama won his presidency so of course, everyone was ecstatic about building race relations in 2008, it was their chance to extend their hands to blacks.

There was tremendous hype about the Black Vogue Italia publication, controversy, and without a doubt more acceptance of the publication beyond its stereotypical buyers. And then months after we were buried back into their neglect of African/black models. In fact, shortly after was a damning editorial by the same photographer in the same Vogue magazine mocking the African race as seen below.

That is the African model for you in Vogue, a white black face painted model mocking Africans. See more here.

But now they have spotted another band wagon, this time its not just blacks but specific to Africans so here comes Vogue magazine. Unfortunately for them, now we have various blogs and social media platforms, unfortunately, in today’s world, publications like Vogue are no longer the gatekeepers of beauty, and their approval is not needed.

Battling The False PR Narrative & Not The Beautiful Cover

This article is not to take away the beauty of the cover, nor the appreciation of the cover. To date, no photographer has composed a high fashion shoot with so many dark pro-models on set.

But the false PR campaign of attributing the hard-earned success of the long battle African women and models have faced on their way up, to a magazine that made racism and the neglect of African women fashionable is ludicrous, a sly attempt of whitewashing history and an insult to all those who have worked to challenge the concept that only white is beautiful.

White Washing History Via White Owned Black Publications

FashionGHANA.com is not at odds with the cover, but the narrative being created that Vogue in it’s own space has opened doors for African models.

One day Vogue magazine’s black faces editorials will be nonexistent and no one will know about them. One day there will come a time where the racist mockery of Africans and blacks in Vogues history will be wiped out. A time where their years of not placing a single black face on their magazine covers will come to pass. A time wherein the fashion space, Vogue has created an image of itself as the ‘#BlackLivesMatter’, ‘#BlackGirlMagic’ and ‘#AfricanFashion’ frontier campaigner! And the savior of the African model.

But Until that day where we become mind-numb and live a lie, let’s hold them to accountability and truth and acknowledge their this cover is small retribution towards the culture of racism Vogue propelled.

How Vogue Can Make A Better Black Statement

The bandwagon to promoting and pushing African beauty and culture is already in process and working its way uphill, editors at Vogue can support it, but claiming it, or claiming it’s their call is an absolute disqualification in the world of fashion journalism.

It will be appropriate to accept Vogue’s whitewashing their history after they start to use Black models on covers just as they would do with any nonpopular white model, without it being a publicity stunt, a black celebrity or a ‘black model’ statement for extra sales.

For those (blacks in particular) that feel offended by Vogue placing black models on their cover and altering the colour, there is one exceptional resolution for yourselves, support mediums that adhere to your interest.

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