Ondria Hardin, Claudia Schiffer & More "Blackface" Models

Ondria Hardin, Kate Moss and more models wore blackface makeup in controversial fashion spreads.



Ondria Hardin, Kate Moss, and more models pose in blackface in these controversial fashion spreads. By Anna Klassen.


Sixteen-year-old Caucasian model Ondria Hardin poses as an 'African Queen' in a 2013 edition of French glossy Numéro. The 5' 10" beauty was covered in bronze face and body makeup for the shoot, wearing "ethnic" clothing to depict a traditional African woman. But the shoot didn't appear without controversy. Jezebel's Laura Beck said of the shoot, "Maybe it's because the magazine just couldn't find a black model?" She continued, "Maybe there are none, and it's just not a profession that appeals to anyone but young, tall, skinny, white girls?"

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Makeup brand Illamasqua came under fire after using a 'blacked-up' model in its 2012 holiday ad campaign. A pair of images features the same Caucasian model covered in white makeup in one ad, and black makeup in another. The make-up brand responded to the backlash on Facebook, saying, "Illamasqua has always celebrated the right to self-expression and we continually push creative and artistic boundaries, priding ourselves on working with models of many ethnic backgrounds to reinforce this point."

As part of an ad campaign for Dom Perignon in 2012, Karl Lagerfeld shot Claudia Schiffer in an array of different outfits, imitating nationalities such as Asian and African American, but the shoot didn't come without controversy. Shevelle Rhule, fashion editor at black lifestyle magazine Pride offered one opinion: "It shows poor taste and it's offensive," she said. “"There are not enough women of color featured in mainstream magazines. This just suggests you can counteract the problem by using white models."


Beyonce, was “voluntarily darkened” for this shoot for L'Officiel Magazine in 2011. Jezebel’s Dodai Stewart wondered of the photo: “Is it still blackface when the woman is black? Is it still offensive when it's meant as a tribute?"

Caucasian blonde beauty Constance Jablonski took to wearing an afro-like wig on the cover of October 2010's Numéro, and wore the same wig and dark face paint posing with a small black child on the pages within.

In 2006, Kate Moss posed for the cover of The Independent wearing nothing more than a ton of black face and body paint. One commenter on a feminist blog said of the image, “…black and sexualized. What a great way to trivialize hunger, racism and sexual violence against women in Africa.”