Vogue is admitting it may have made a misstep.
The magazine posted an image of model/reality star Kendall Jenner to Instagram Friday donning voluminous, teased curls, which some called out as cultural appropriation.
In a statement to E! News, Vogue explained its inspiration for Jenner’s hair came from looking at the past.
“The image is meant to be an update of the romantic Edwardian/Gibson Girl hair which suits the period feel of the Brock Collection, and also the big hair of the ’60s and the early ’70s, that puffed-out, teased-out look of those eras,” the statement reportedly read. “We apologize if it came across differently than intended, and we certainly did not mean to offend anyone by it.”
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Fifteen years and 150 finalists later, the @CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize has created global stars, local heroes, a must-watch New York Fashion Week, and, most important, a true sense of community among designers of all ages and backgrounds—all with differing aesthetic and commercial aspirations—who communicate, collaborate, and essentially care for one another through the fun and not-so-fun times. Laura Vassar Brock—one of the founders of 2016 #CVFF winner Brock Collection—says, “We spoke to a few friends who had gone through it, and they all said the same thing: that the Fashion Fund is a life-changing experience. And indeed it was!” Tap the link in our bio to learn more. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, November 2018
Some Instagram users expressed disappointment in the magazine’s choice in the comments of the image, while others came to its defense.
“They stay tryna turn white women into black women,” one user wrote. “They rather pretend we don’t exist then give us credit. Ugh”
Another user said, “We used to have our hair burned and chemicals because society taught us that we were not beautiful with our afros now they copy our Afros but can’t use actual BLACK models with Afros!”
“She looks dumb. Leave afros for the beautiful black women,” another directed.
Others were less-convinced the hairstyle was an attempt at an afro.
“I see a teased hair waiting for a beehive! Thatz all!” a user wrote. “All the anger about this is nonsense. Even if the intent was to be an afro its hella not! Look at our black kings and queens and google what an afro looks like! Angry for nothing.”
“I’m all for my people but Y’all are really reaching,” a person wrote, “her hair is curled and teased this does not look like an afro”
This isn’t the first time Jenner has been embroiled in controversy. A 2017 Pepsi commercial starring Jenner was pulled after critics found it tone-deaf. In the ad, Jenner joined a Black Lives Matter-style march and gave a Pepsi to a cop outfitted in riot gear.
Jenner’s older sister, Kim Kardashian West, has also been accused of cultural appropriation. Earlier this year, she attributed her blonde braids to Bo Derek who wore the style in the 1979 film “10.” The backlash didn’t keep her from repeating the hairstyle at June’s MTV Movie & TV Awards.