Since it was released at the end of September, Solange Knowles’ album A Seat at the Table has been inspiring and thrilling audiences with its unapologetically Black themes surrounding beauty, acceptance and pride. It garnered Knowles the first number one album of her career, a debut performance spot on Saturday Night Live and it’s already racking up spots on year-end lists of 2016’s best albums. To put it mildly, she made an album for us on her own terms and is finally getting the overdue respect she deserves as an artist.
As with anything popular and Black, rip-offs are soon to follow by mainstream (re: White) audiences. It was recently reported that an ad placed by retailer Oasis in London newspaper Evening Standard featured a white model with an almost identical hairstyle to what Knowles sported on her album cover. The cover for A Seat at the Table is so distinctive that there is no mistaking what the Oasis ad is referencing. The Root has further details on this inside, including how social media responded.
Via The Root:
High-end London retailer Oasis has some explaining to do when it comes to an ad it provided London’s Evening Standard newspaper. The photo in question looks remarkably similar to Solange’s “A Seat at the Table” album cover, and social media quickly came for the newspaper and store.
While some will say imitation is the best form of flattery, clearly the people who thought this image was a good idea didn’t listen to Solange’s album, which talks heavily about cultural appropriation. Oasis needs to have a seat at a table, and listen to the album just to see why its image is problematic.
To be fair, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being inspired by something so much that you want to recreate it. However, this practice is far too common when it comes to Black art and representation and once a “mainstream” source takes it for their own, we rarely get the credit for originating it. Tell us Beauties, how do you feel about the Oasis ad?
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