african queen 2*French fashion magazine Numero decided to celebrate African beauty in its March issue, complete with its featured model alongside the title, “African Queen.”

The model, however, is a white girl…in blackface. In fact, she’s in blackbody, with dark makeup covering all of her exposed skin.

african queen spread

ondria hardin african queen spread


Needless to say, social media lit up with reaction Tuesday.

“This is offensive and it is done in poor taste. It’s sending the message that ‘We celebrate African beauty … just without any Africans,” Kay Clarke wrote on Facebook.

Fashion blog Styleite pointed out this isn’t the first time Numero has “blurred racial lines.” In 2010 the mag published photos featuring white model Constance Jablonski also with darkened skin, wearing a series of afro wigs and posing with a black baby.

The “African Queen” spread in Numero’s March issue features blond-haired, blue-eyed Ondria Hardin, a 16-year-old model from North Carolina who looks like this when she’s not in blackface…


Ondria Hardin, shot by Raymond Meier for Teen Vogue (February 2012 issue)
Ondria Hardin, shot by Raymond Meier for Teen Vogue (February 2012 issue)

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