Am I missing something? Instead of hiring the black models who were glaringly absent from the Fashion Week runway and rarely appear in global campaigns, Numéro Magazine chose a white 16 year-old girl for their “African Queen” editorial whose face they painted bronze.

According to Jezebel:

Here’s 16-year-old white model Ondria Hardin; she’s doused in a very deep bronze in an editorial for Numéro magazine called “African Queen”. Ugh. Foudre makes the excellent point/sums it up with, “why hire a black model when you could just paint a white one!”

And to add insult to injury, several black models are signed to the very agency that represents Ondria Hardin yet they were passed over for a shoot that purports to acknowledge African culture.

It’s egregious that instead of just hiring a black model, a magazine could be willing to go to the extreme of painting a white model darker and dressing her in printed clothing and bold jewelry to channel a “African queen.” The result is almost a mockery of blackness instead of a true celebration of it.


  • J. Nicole

    Publications like that and Vanity Fair are basically saying, “You aren’t our target audience & we don’t care about offending you”. The best thing to do, along with publicly blasting their practices is to provide NO financial support to them at all and whoever supports them.

  • Tonton Michel

    Some things are so stunningly stupid you have to laugh first before flying into a justifiable rage. I am still laughing. There has to be a a catch to this, an attempt to get attention, I know people can be this stupid BUT THIS RIGHT HERE? No can’t be that simple.

  • The Commnet

    Bronze Face…..damn ya’lll funny!

    Come on now. It’s fashion. Have you been around people in the fashion industry? They on some other…..chit! Completely. Like entirely!

    and that’s a funky outfit.

  • Anthony

    I would not have known she wasn’t black if it weren’t for this article. I’m guessing this some European outfit. I would hate to think an American agency would be this clueless.

  • Misty

    I don’t care and am past the need to fight every battle or to make a battle of everything. But just for arguments sake, and I’m expecting to be thumbs downed out of the water, what if a magazine cover depicted a super white-washed image of a black woman, (as is often the case on covers), with her dressed in All-American clothing, with the title, “American Sweetheart” or something?

    Would it matter to white people? To you? Is it that deep?

    It’s fashion and art, and not that serious I think. And trust me, I know history and everything, but I really want to ask these questions.

  • Okay

    What is acceptable for us to fight for?

  • MuseintheMirror

    People have no limits. I give up. I just don’t see how this was the right decision. They know they could’ve got a black model…the girl looks like any other girl in the neighborhood. SMH.

  • Keshia

    She wishes she was an African queen, white folk honestly don’t surprise me much anymore, it’s almost silly to be shocked by the mess they do especially this kinda stuff. It’s similar to Victoria secret having the white model dress up in geisha costume and called her a sexy geisha girl….they obviously couldn’t find an Asian woman. Imitation is the highest form of flattery so me and NATURAL golden bronze skin will keep it movin

  • Sarah

    There is a BIG difference between putting black women in “white clothing” and using white makeup to turn a black model into a white woman. Yes it would matter to white people. if the media stop putting them on pedestals and only use them as “tokens” the whole world will about it, but since they are not the minority they do not care. Look at Quvenzhané Wallis and the hate she received for being the youngest to get an academy award nomination and she is black on top of it and not the blue eyed, blonde girl they hope for. Do you think she would have been call the “C” word by whites if she was white, no she would not. Gabby D received hatred for being better than her white counterparts.

  • Mr. Man

    That is some crazy stuff right there.

    I wonder how long she sported the make up after the shoot was over.

  • Tori

    A more equal education system

  • Misty

    Speaking for myself, and I asked these questions so that you might consider what is important for you to “make a battle of”. “Acceptable” was not my choice of words.

    So as for me: health ed, clothing access to homeless, shelter, literacy, access to education, reproductive rights…


  • Chillyroad

    There was an article on Clutch not too long ago mocking amateur models on Instagram. The article was shortsighted and incidents like this are why. Why continue to protect and uphold the exclusivity of these modelling agencies that have a history of ignoring black models when amateur models and designers can use Instagram to network with eachother?

    Instagram, Tumblr, etc. can be a huge resource for aspiring black models and the people who would like to work with them. Instead of mocking the black models on these social media sites they need to be taught how to put their photos to good use and get the attention of professionals- or not- photographers, designers, film makers, magazines editors etc.

    Black women and people need to make good use of the Internet and continue to create our own avenues for success. Stop harassing Lena Dunham, stop waiting on others to put us on.

    We have everything we need to make stuff happen.

  • Misty

    **Holds breath until someone uses the word “blackface”.**

    I’m out to fry bigger fish.

  • Misty

    “Black women and people need to make good use of the Internet and continue to create our own avenues for success. Stop harassing Lena Dunham, stop waiting on others to put us on.”

    Agreed! I just read a piece on HuffPost by Zeba Blay and yeah, what you said.

  • Val

    This happens at least once a year. Each time it happens it’s reported and everyone is outraged. But, then it happens again. So it appears that reporting these incidents without any action behind it is just giving these publications millions of dollars of free advertising.

    I hope at some point when this happens not only will it be reported but there will be mass action against the publication, such as, boycotting sponsors.

    Appeal to their sense of decency and you get no result. Hurt their bottom line and this will stop.

  • Rosie

    You’re not missing anything. This photo is to get people talking. And here you have it on Clutch….and people are talking.

  • Keshia

    I like how people on other sites are saying…”you know there are white Africans” oh white people -__-

  • http://Clutch All American

    Last time I checked Blacks were as “All American” as whites… This argument is flawed

  • T. Harris

    There’re also Black Europeans, but you’d NEVER see them as a European queen.

  • binks

    This! Because you can’t appeal to their sense of decency because they KNOW what they are doing. I can’t believe for a second that anybody behind the shoot didn’t know this was offensive and be percieved the wrong way! They get away with it because they can, it is time to hit em where it hurts or play their game better than them…

  • Misty

    Should have written African woman. Whatever, I’m outta here.

    Ya’ll just determined to have a million blog march about everything while the real powers keep you distracted with mini-crap like this, the cover of a relatively obscure fashion/art magazine that doesn’t cater to you anyway. If you are mad, don’t read it, buy it, or make it headline news. I’m more offended by Lil Wayne on the cover of a “black” magazine but that’ll never inspire a march cause he is one of your own.

  • Val



  • Kay

    I’m just not surprised anymore. Just…not. I am no stranger to the fashion industry, so for everyone who says, “It’s not really racist.” It is. Believe me. I’ve been privy to conversations about Black models and the hiring of talent. And the truth is, they don’t see Black women as beautiful. They argue that Black models need to approximate European beauty ideals, but even when they find a model who has “White,” facial features and characteristics, they’d still rather pick a White model over her. Bottom line is we can’t look to racists to respect the beauty of Black women. We need to start creating our own glossy mags dedicated to high fashion and cultivating our own talent in our communities. Will it change mainstream perceptions? Maybe not. But it will give Black women and men a chance to express and grow our own perceptions of ourselves. It seems that every great Black fashion mag out there gets no support from our own and ends up shutting down when we are the largest consumers out there.

  • In Africa

    Meanwhile in Africa, African women aren’t even bothered…

    We can refocus our energies and ignore such foolery.

  • Ange B

    This is getting old….I’m tired of seeing this crap in magazine’s, fashion ads, and perfume , jewellery etc! Happy Black History what a slap in the face. I would actually like to see what T.Harris mentioned. Plenty of Black Europeans…so they should use a Black Model dress them in some stereotypical European clothing and call her European Queen. Just to hear the reactions.

  • -A. the girl in question (the white model) African?

  • -A.

    wait…I googled it…nope…not a bit.
    *le sigh*

  • Catpopstar

    Where the hell did that even come from?

  • Catpopstar

    The fashion industry is there so that white people can feel superior to everyone else. I no longer pay attention to it.

  • Niesha Gourdine

    I’m over it… they really need a life.

  • lol

    it came from” i’ve been rejected by that cute ghetto girl that chose a thug over me so ya’ll black women should suffer forever”

    that’s where it always comes from.

  • Penny

    I’ve never even heard of this magazine. Yes, it’s very insensitive, but not surprising. The way that many black models look seems to be a reflection of how the fashion industry prefers to see black women. Even when the model is actually black, her features tend to be very similar to a white model’s features. I guess in this case, they just cut out the middle man…middle woman. Why go through the trouble of hiring a black model with “white features” when they can just darken a white woman? Honestly, I guess I’d be angry if it were surprising to me, but it’s just not.

  • Reason

    Are we really tired of it? Say it with your dollars or shut up.

  • The Commnet

    I agree Misty. Maybe that is why most black people stay stressed out all the time….they think they have to fight every battle. The goal is to pick and choose ur battles to preserve life.

    It is not that serious. Right now white women are trying to convince themselves that pale is beautiful. The link between tanning machines and skin cancer is through the roof. They dying to be tan but it’s killing them.

    And it is fashion. Fashion, like art, politics and the like—sometimes offend people. That is the beauty of it.

    and don’t worry about the thumbs down. It be hella boring if everyone said the same thing…over and over and over and over and over.


    White devils love their cracker sandwiches in any format.


    The funny thing queen Europa who is an African queen is the name of Europe. White people smh what more can you say. Being in those caves created the most fucked up humans ever.

  • Kim Brown

    Have we forgotten that there are white Africans too?

  • The Commnet

    All right! All right! This is some bull chit!

  • paintgurl40

    i believe she’s from north carolina…..soooo

  • Misty

    :) Right on “to preserve life”. I like how you think—your entire comment.

    And no stress here on the thumbs down. I have a thick skin. It’s just sad that there is little open-mindedness sometimes, that some blacks are so stuck on fighting, defending their honor, being wronged AT EVERY TURN. This matter is not that deep!

  • Nakia

    That would be a question had they left her white. That was clearly not their focus or they would not have PAINTED HER BROWN.

  • Nakia

    that’s what y’all have African Americans for! lol
    no, seriously, when you are in a society where you are actually a numerical minority and constantly reminded of it and the discrimination that comes of it, even the little things become big in the struggle. so, hundreds of years later, from within that environment, we get in our feelings, cause you can’t give an inch…It’s not like we’re out marching over it, but we are having a conversation about it. And also, african women in africa don’t own blackness and this is about being black, more so than african.

  • http://smith linda

    What is the problem? They said African Queen not Africa Slave.
    African Americans have a problem with history I guess.

  • rease69

    Your right, we do have a problem with history. Especially with our lack of depiction in it other than slavery (wich is obviously true because thats your brains first inpulse to the mere thought of African Americans(ie muscle memory)). Furthermore its hard as a father to encourage your daughter that she is beautiful despite what anyone says when it seem EVERYONE depicts beauty as being the exact opposite of her (even if it is painted over). For a moment reverse the role and thing about it for at least 5 complete min from an objective perspective.

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