Vogue’s ‘momentous’ misstep of imposing unnatural styling on African models draws heavy scorn

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The February 2022 cover of British Vogue, featuring nine African women, claims to be redefining what it is to be a model, but the image has sparked fury and dismay on social media over the magazine’s unnatural styling choices.

British Vogue’s Twitter account posted the cover, which featured models Adut Akechangh, Anok Yai, Majesty Amare, Amar Akway, Janet Jumbo, Maty Fall, Nyagua Ruea, Albé Nhial, and Akon Changkou, with straightened hair, under what many are calling unflattering light.

“With a new generation of African models in the spotlight, fashion is at last embracing what it is to be truly global. With British Vogue’s momentous all African February cover, meet the young women redefining what it is to be a model,” the caption read.

The criticism poured in from social media users, ranging from calls to “do better” from some, while others expressed downright disgust. Here’s a small sampling of those responses from Twitter:




In a follow-up tweet, Vogue also posted a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot, which only seemed to fuel the controversy.

“Rows of rails laden with the season’s most sought-after looks, more jewellery than a jewellery store, and a year’s supply of hairspray. Just a flavour of what you can expect on a British Vogue shoot,” the tweet read.


What could have truly been a “momentous” celebration of African beauty has, sadly, become little more than a momentous disappointment, leaving many to ask British Vogue one simple question: Why?



Melissa Fine


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