Yesha Callahan

Allure Issues Response to ‘Afro’ Tutorial

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Allure doesn’t care that it offended a ton of people with their afro tutorial done on a white woman. Although social media was up in arms over the magazine, Allure offers a dumbfounded explanation.

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“The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as an individual expressions [sic] of style. Using beauty and hair as a form of self-expression is a mirror of what’s happening in our country today. The creativity is limitless—and pretty wonderful,” Allure told Buzzfeed.

Sure, use your hair as a form of self-expression but don’t use a style that black people have proudly rocked, without crediting black people.

If you want to walk around looking like Bob Ross, sure that’s your prerogative, but don’t act as if a white woman rocking an afro is something ‘normal’.

Cultural appropriation will never be cute. Whether it’s a white woman rocking a fro or cornrows. In the words of the great Paul Mooney, “Everybody wanna be a nigga but nobody wanna be a nigga”.

Image Credit: Augusta Falletta/Allure/Twitter

  1. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    Really Allure? No apology it’s racist. Microgression yes but still Bella racist

  2. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    I’ll be happy when most mainstream magazines start struggling so I don’t have to know about what stupid thing they do next.

    • August 4, 2015 - Reply

      @Anonin

      Agreed! I am personally sick of these publications at this point since they know what they are doing. In the words of Nene Leakes “I see you.”

      • August 4, 2015 - Reply

        @binks

        I will be happy when people stop knitpicking nonsense .eg Drag the BiRacial Cheerio commercial YET no one is applauding or bragging on the Swiffer Daddy Commercial “Deep Couch Sitting” Tsk Tsk Tsk

        • August 4, 2015 - Reply

          @Shay TBD

          Who says no one is applauding the Deep Couch Sitting commercial? It is a cute commercial. But I fail to see how this relates to the topic at hand. And what people want to nitpick or find problematic should be discussed. If you don’t see the problem with it, fine but doesn’t mean others agree with you.

          • August 4, 2015 - Reply

            @binks

            I agree with you. You are totally correct none of us HAVE TO agree with the anyone else. People dont have to agree with facts for them to be so (more money/time spent on eurocentric hair care practices, tools and products overall by BWs world wide versus natural hair care (per research done by my natural hair focus group) check Chris Rocks “good hair”). What I am saying is that the energy could be better served on the positive efforts rather than social media storming the negative, whether it be hair or cheerios, media/marketing/advertising its all the same. Few if anyone has made a positive internet wave about that commercial, which I agree is adorable.

          • August 4, 2015 - Reply

            @binks

            That commercial is cute, I like it.

  3. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    History, label bashing (appropriation) and social media over sensitivity aside…Aren’t the majority of women in the world doing the same exact thing – Blow outs, straightening/pressing combs, flat irons, creamy crack (relaxers), weaves, wigs, extensions,, have our <10yr old daughters going bald (gelling down their nonexistent edges) – and even horribly criticizing those who attempt at wearing their hair natural (locs, twists, braids afro-styles) to the point of even allowing it to stay outlawed or restricted in the military and your own school districts… I know this won't be a popular response but there are a plenty curly/kinky/wavy haired women who will sacrifice their credit scores to maintain and uphold eurocentric aesthetics that are hiding behind their computer screens/devices faking their disdain with Allure and mainstream marketing. And I wont get started on the chicks that go 2 shades lighter with their make up or wear colored contacts…. Mockery is the greatest form of flattery. Stop the griping and focus on individual development in the areas of financial, physical and mental health then focus on community development and cohesion. Those things will be much more productive and beneficial than talking about someone copying a hairstyle…This while you are probably booking a 2week salon appointment…

    • August 4, 2015 - Reply

      @Shay TBD

      Nice try but you cant really say that with more and more BW wearing their natural hair.

      • August 4, 2015 - Reply

        @Staci Elle

        You are correct, IN-PART. YES, more and more are opting to go natural, which proves my OPINION/COMMENT that the origination pool fits my description of people who are NOT natural hence the motivation to revert from current eurocentric prompted practices, moreover, those still caught in that web create the most friction for those transitioning or already natural and even perpetuate the haarmful practices that are habit forming and mentally, emotionally and physically damaging/scarring. This is not an attempt or try by anymeans on my part however it is a clear and unjaded response to this article based upon tangibly verifiable observation from my current domestic and international travels as well as my personal life experiences (prior military and natural hair wearer/supporter/advocate, WELL beyond THIS current so called “natural hair movement -circa 2007ish”) . I’ve had peers, colleagues and family members some natural the VAST MAJORITY are NOT. So YES I CAN say the above based on my perspective as it is relative to the course I continue to experience, which may be dissimilar to yours.

        • August 4, 2015 - Reply

          @Shay TBD

          What does BW attempting to fit in with the norm have to do with ww wearing styles that we are mocked for? And I’m in Cali, most BW are at least chemical free here, wearing too light foundation is just bad make up ( I’ve never seen this, though) and colored contacts though? sounds like a time machine from the 90’s. But if that’s truly your experience.

          • August 4, 2015 - Reply

            @Staci Elle

            I’m raised/from NY, part Trini with tight coily nearly waist length sisterlocks… I’ve live from Texas to multiple places on the east coast. FAKEness is very real and I am surprised that you are seemingly unable to acknowlege/recognize it. Just because someone has unchemically processed hair does not mean they are not ascribing to the eurocentric aesthetic and furthermore perpetuating it. I am not a fan but some very impressioning examples Atlanta Housewives and Love and HipHop… I’ve visited Atlanta and there are more qwik weave shops and relaxed salons there than there are not… I would have to say chicks aspiring to look similar to those women (hair, eyes, makeup and all) in their daily liveare at a much higher saturation rate than the handfuls I applaud and support going/being natural. I still have “BW” who are confused about my hair and even ask how I wash/grow it… All I am saying is the energy spent complaining about copycats can be appropriated much more effectively and in areas that require much more important consideration – say the higher complication and subsequent mortality rate of “BWs” with triple negative cancers that can be negatively affected by chemical related free radicals in the body (repeated extended exposure caustic chemical applications)? Or maybe not…

            • August 4, 2015 - Reply

              @Shay TBD

              “I’m raised/from NY, part Trini with tight coily nearly waist length sisterlocks..”

              Good for you, I love locks.

              We as BW can talk about appropriation and other issues at the same time. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Yes, there are some black women out there who are indoctrinated with self hate and therefore they dont see the beauty in their features but Bw are waking up and I’m excited to witness that.

  4. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    i wasn’t offended by the tutorial. i understand the problems of appropriation & such, but this just doesn’t seem to fit the definition. to me, this is no different than all the natural hair tutorials that show bw how to stretch their hair, heatless blow outs, etc. it’s just a tutorial on how to make your hair do something different than it normally does. the article didn’t claim it as the new wave, new hollywood go to style, or anything where it implies white ownership/creation/discovery of the afro, so nothing was appropriated. i have no outrage over this.

    • August 4, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      Honestly, I would feel like this too but in the past, especially recently, we have seen too many undercurrents in the media concerning black people, culture and style to see this as innocent, even when it might be.

      • August 4, 2015 - Reply

        @binks

        Advertising and marketing are what they are and until “we” have more brown media execs that arent just up there flaunting their titles and accolades around and instead making moves then the only thing we can do as consumers is be ACTIVELY and completely HONESTLY engaged in MANIPULATING the status quo. If you are out there buying products from subcompanies that support these prime companies then you are part of the problem not the solution… Carols Daughter does NOT have the best interest of a natural hair wearer in mind in L’oreals scheme of things…

        • August 4, 2015 - Reply

          @Shay TBD

          And I agree with you here. I do think we not only need more black and brown media execs but also black companies.

    • August 4, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      I completely agree. Seriously, if we’re going to get all up in arms about white people wearing our hairstyles, then what does that say about us wearing straight hair for most of our lives? What does that say about sistas that wear someone else’s hair? To this day, plenty of women I know have no idea what their natural hair even looks like.

      I’m sure someone will come along and say we were forced to do unnatural things to our hair, but the only thing women of African descent were “forced” to do was keep our hair covered. I would feel some type of way about this, but when it comes hair, clothing, music, etc cultures borrow from one another…and no one is stopping to give anyone credit for anything. We just want to be cute.

    • August 6, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      If only people who have that tutorial growing out of their head naturally weren’t worried and subconscious about being fired from their jobs or suspended from school or belittled and laughed at for the pleasure, then I’d be okay with it too, but I consider other folks who are as fortunate as that model to receive compliments instead of criticism for attempting that look.

  5. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    I’m slightly confused at the “uproar” in general. This IS a tutorial for str8 heads to curl/poof/fro their hair, correct? Hence the model used for the before and after. Are we suggesting there should be pictures of straight haired people on relaxer boxes since that is the intended result or to be completely PC should there be BWs with their hair in its natural state depicted anywhere on the box/advert. Just wondering. I mean JUST the word AFRO signifies the styles historical/cultural/ethnic connection, correct? This is so entertaining.

  6. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    There is certainly a difference between sincere human expression and cultural
    appropriation (which we all oppose). Allure wants to make financial profit. In situations like these, we should both recognize the diversity of human expression and at the same time respect the human dignity of black women as well. Regardless of how people view the Allure tutorial, there should always be an acknowledgement of the right of black women to express their hair in a diversity of ways.

    • August 4, 2015 - Reply

      @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      I love that the title of the article is you yes you can wear an Afro. Soo hmm who is you? obviously they were talking to their white female readers. Its funny that none of these “mainstream” magazines have tutorials telling black women how to get straight hair, those straight hair tutorials are still for ww.

      • August 4, 2015 - Reply

        @Staci Elle

        Good Afternoon Sister Staci Elle.

        Game recognize Game Sister. It is what it is.

        I have noticed that every time black folks have this discussion and even express a certain point of view, we’re slandered by some as racists and wanting to deny human expression (which are lies). You have made a very interesting point.

        • August 4, 2015 - Reply

          @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

          That’s because you’re Truth, you cant hide ish from the truth, you chose your name wisely.

          • August 4, 2015 - Reply

            @Staci Elle

            Thank you Sister. Our people have massive discernment. Nothing will turn us around. The 50th year anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act is coming up soon and we all remember the sacrifice of so many people who fought for not only voting rights, but for human justice.

  7. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    It’s trendy to have biracial curly hair. If the hair was tightly coiled, it would be considered ugly or nappy.

  8. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    All the girl in the picture has to do is get a deep tan and she is Rachel Dolezal.

    • August 4, 2015 - Reply

      @gg

      “All the girl in the picture has to do is get a deep tan and she is Rachel Dolezal”

      A white woman….

      • August 4, 2015 - Reply

        @Staci Elle

        with a desperate attempt at black aesthetics.

        • August 4, 2015 - Reply

          @gg

          yep!

  9. August 4, 2015 - Reply

    it looks a shaggy mess, it’s not truly an afro, the texture of their hair won’t allow them to “flawlessly” pull it off the way “we” did back in the day. This is an epic fail, a moppy mistake.

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