AceShowbiz - British Vogue faces backlash after it reveals its February 2022 cover. The controversial cover features nine African models as it's intended to highlight African beauty, but people take issue with the editing which allegedly makes the models look darker.
Featured in the cover were Adut Akech, Amar Akway, Majesty Amare, Akon Changkou, Maty Fall, Janet Jumbo, Abeny Nhial, Nyagua Ruea and Anok Yai. The models could be seen striking poses in front of cameras while donning all-black ensembles.
"With a new generation of models in the spotlight, fashion is at last embracing what it is to be truly global. The nine models gracing the cover are representative of an ongoing seismic shift that became more pronounced on the SS22 runways; awash with dark-skinned models whose African heritage stretched from Senegal to Rwanda to South Sudan to Nigeria to Ethiopia," the magazine wrote in an Instagram caption.
The caption continued to read, "For an industry long criticised for its lack of diversity, as well as for perpetuating beauty standards seen through a Eurocentric lens, this change is momentous. @FunmiFetto talks to some of those redrawing the map in the February issue of #BritishVogue."
The cover, however, was met with criticism from Internet users, who appeared to think that the appearances of the models, who are either Ethiopian, Nigerian, Rwandan, Senegalese and South Sudanese, looked weird. "This cover is weird. The lighting is off. The backdrop is off. The various skin tones and highlights are missing. And the African models are all in European styled wigs. Huh? @BritishVogue definitely needs to hire Black women photographers," one critic said.
"I just would like black women to be represented as they are. Those women are stunning. Sometimes the European (or fashion) gaze exoticizes black women by darkening them to 'make art' and it's giving a bit of fetish. Even very dark skin has tones and highlights and isn't just 1-D," another user added.
Someone else noted, "I am South Sudanese. I have lived here probably longer than these models and I can assure you that there is nobody moving around looking like this. As an artist, I can also assure you that this is not art. This is Black Skin Porn. Black Fetish. Reverse Bleaching."
However, Vogue Editor-In-Chief Edward Enniful, who also styled the photos, seemingly believed that what the magazine did was capture the current "wave" of where fashion is headed. "I saw all these incredible models from across Africa who were just so vivacious and smart," he explained the inspiration behind the cover.
"These girls are redefining what it is to be a fashion model," he continued. "You know, fashion tends to follow waves. We've had the Brazilian wave. We had the Dutch wave, the Russian wave, the Eastern European wave… And while, in the last decade, the Black model has come to prominence, I love that we are finally giving more space to African beauty."
British Vogue has yet to comment on the backlash.