This is a swipe from a recent Numéro magazine shoot. The French model, Constance Jablonski, usually looks like this:
Now, if you’re a pedestrian size 8-to-10 like me, you may not have heard of Numéro before. According to its website, what may look like litter pan liner to you is actually an “international” magazine that offers “an avant-garde view of the worlds of fashion, art and luxury.” Apparently, “both today’s icons and tomorrow’s master talents” contribute to Numéro.
In comparing the magazine’s stated mission to the clichéd, colonialist-porn pictured above, I got confused. I hate being confused. So for my own clarity, I jotted down a few questions:
1. What is Constance doing in this picture? Why is she wearing an afro wig circa Foxy Brown and brownface circa Soul Man?”
2. Why is that baby standing in dried grass damn-near naked when Constance is layered and aggressively accessorized?
3. Of the 17 covers crawling atop Numéro‘s homepage, why is there a White person on every single living, loving, motherfucking one? And of some 60 back issues for sale, why are there just two people of color on the covers? I mean, the White woman with bangs, the White woman in orange eyeshadow, the White woman in green eyeshadow, Kate Moss in turquoise eye shadow, the White man with black fishnet on his face, the White dude spitting water into the air, and Jude Law are perfectly lovely. They are. But doesn’t this seem strange to the current icons and future masters and avant-garde-y people of all stripes who rabidly consume high fashion and images of it?
If I come up with some sensible answers, I’ll let you know.