A magazine has apologised for using the only black models in its feature to illustrate the beauty trends that it thinks “need to die”.
In a listicle of overdone crazes and their proposed alternatives, Cosmopolitan.com in the US used four pictures of women with dark skin to show what styles it deems to be going out of fashion.
Although white models also showcased the other 17 ‘bad’ beauty looks, no women of different ethnic backgrounds were used to demonstrate the Cosmo-approved ones.
Black models were only used to show the “dead” trends, with the acronym ‘R.I.P’ superimposed on their heads.
White models illustrated all the 21 looks that the magazine selected to be the better trends, with ‘hello gorgeous!’ splashed across their crowns – except Nicole Richie, who is mixed race.
The magazine received fierce backlash on social media from angry readers and commentators who called for a boycott and an apology over the online feature – that they accused of being racist and pushing a “basic” idea of what constitutes beauty.
The listicle of 21 looks was brought to light by a Twitter user on Wednesday after it was originally published in January.
Cosmopolitan said sorry after Puerto Rican supermodel Joan Smalls – whose picture was used to illustrate ‘unfashionable’ black lipstick – tweeted them to call the magazine “tasteless”.
Pictures of black models were used to show the writer’s seeming distaste for “noticeable contouring”, blonde ombrè hair and “crazy graphic eyeliner”.
Cosmopolitan replied to Joan, which caused more people to criticise the publication for not making a more public apology.
This is because direct replies on Twitter are not as visible to other users compared to stand-alone tweets.
The explanation has since been clearly posted at the top of the article in question.
But this admission of failure seems to not be enough for many as the tweet only served to stoke the fires. Upset tweeters slammed the apology as “flimsy” and “superficial”.
White models are featured on the front of fashion magazines five times more than women of other racial backgrounds, according to a 2014 survey reported by The Fashion Spot.
The Independent has contacted cosmopolitan.com and is awaiting comment.
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