At least that's the message I was left with when I saw these photos.
In the October edition of French Vogue, Dutch Model Lara Stone is depicted as black in a 13-page spread, her entire face and body covered in brown-hued make-up. Perhaps even more offensive is the fact that this particular edition was marketed as the "Women of Color" issue yet NO women of color were displayed on any of its pages.
Model Lara Stone (as she actually looks)
FRENCH VOGUE (October 2009 Edition): Model Lara Stone in blackface
As expected, this issue has raised international controversy (and rightfully so). Here are just some of the reactions:
American Blog 'Jezebel': "What Klein and Roitfeld should know … is that painting white people black for the entertainment of other white people is offensive in ways that stand entirely apart from cultural context. France and Australia may not have the United States' particular history of minstrel shows … but something about the act of portraying a white woman as black ought to sound an alarm, somewhere."
Dominique Sopo, President of French Anti-Racism Group 'SOS Racisme': Even if the shoot was not racist in intention it was certainly "tactless".
"If the aim was artistic, and not to pass off the model as a black girl, the fact that it produces such reactions shows that the world of images – advertising, fashion, whatever – is now paying for its long tradition of not allowing black people to show their bodies in public."
Check out news footage.
Of course, French Vogue responded to the outrage by saying that they were unaware of any controversy caused by the fashion spread. Yeah, right! Sadly, this is the typical response from perpetrators of racism (at worst) and racial insensitivity (at best).