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What do you think about a white model posing as an African Queen? A lot of people are not feeling it and felt like as many African-American models are out there they could have picked one of them. There is no shortage in African-American models photographers just don’t pick them.

A French Magazine photo a sixteen year-old Caucasian model named Ondria Harden to pose for the feature with black make-up on her body to make her look African-American! OH NO !

Of course this caused controversy.

An editor at Jezebel (who is a Caucasian woman) stated:

“It’s impossible to look at this and not ache for young women of color who want to pursue careers in modeling. When they don’t see themselves on the runway or in magazines, it could be very easy for them to think, “huh, I guess modeling isn’t for me.” Then the status quo remains, and the runways remain monotone. If jobs for “African Queen” photo spreads aren’t going to black women, what hope is there?”


After the chaos that was caused by the pictures, the photographer Sebastian Kim issued a statement, that stated:

"I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding around my recent photos for Numero France. It was never my intention (nor Numero’s) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60′s characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marissa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot.

It saddens me that people would interpret this as a mockery of race. I believe that the very unfortunate title “African Queen” (which I was not aware of prior to publication) did a lot to further people’s misconceptions about these images. It was certainly never my intention to mock or offend anyone and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who was offended.


Sebastian Kim"

How do you feel about this, is it really that serious?