In Allure’s August issue, there’s a brief (hopefully!) moment of stupidity titled “You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro.” It’s a piece that explains how white women can have an afro, totally missing the point that white women cannot have an afro. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Allure attempted to defend the article.
“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.”
We now turn to Jezebel’s Kara Brown, who had the perfect rebuttal:
Hey, Allure, f*ck off with your idiotic, sanctimonious bullshit. The blatant cultural appropriation is one thing, but the deep ignorance of these clowns is equally offensive. White people cannot have afros. Period. Full stop. Again, if you are not black, it is not possible that the hair on your head can logically be called an afro, no matter how it’s styled….
Really though, why would Allure give a shit? The appropriation of blackness is at an all-time high. The Kardashians have literally built an empire on emulating black women. Rachel Dolezal exists. And even when black women carefully and repeatedly explain why things like this are hurtful and offensive, white people continuing doing it anyway because what do those women know? This is about celebrating your culture. Never mind that many black women would hesitate to wear their natural hair in an afro style on a job interview or to work for fear of their hair being deemed ‘unprofessional.’