In a world where cultural appropriation is real, Blackhair magazine has a lot to be sorry for: A white model is now apologizing for being featured in their publication.
“I would deeply and sincerely like to apologize to every one for this, and black women especially. I would like to clarify, I believe this shoot is from when I was around 15 and didn’t understand cultural appropriation or the impact it has on POC. I was uneducated, which obviously is no excuse, ignorant and immature. Growing up in a very very white city, I had no idea the struggles black women face and how often they were persecuted for their hair,” Emily Bador wrote on her Instagram page.
The model added: “I‘m upset and angry I was never asked by the photographer/hair salon/anyone if this image could be used for the cover Black Hair. I’m so glad I’ve educated myself and surrounded my self with people to teach me what is right and wrong. I constantly am learning and becoming more and more informed. It’s important to come forward and be honest with ourselves about our past mistakes, otherwise we will never learn. Again, I’m truly, deeply sorry to anyone I’ve offended and I hope if nothing else this post can educated others so they don’t make similar mistakes.“
That’s a heartfelt and thoughtful response.
Meanwhile, Blackhair editor Keysha Davis commented on the issue on the publication’s Facebook page, apologizing for the mix-up and thanked Bador for bringing the issue to the magazine’s attention. She stressed that she and her team were not aware that Bador was not black or mixed-race when they selected the image, the Huffington Post noted.
“We often ask PR companies/salons to submit images for the magazine, specifically stating that models must be Black or mixed race,” Davis wrote. “We can only take their word for it, and of course, try to use our own judgment.”
Davis assured readers that they are “keenly aware of how black women are underrepresented in the mainstream media,” and that her magazine welcomes an open dialogue about black identity, the Huff Post noted.