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Rihanna in blackface & Islandistas on I-D cover

idcoverIslandistas are all over the place for the September round of fashion magazines.

Islandistas Jourdan Dunn and Arlenis are featured on the cover of the September issue of I-D magazine, along with fellow models of colour Chanel Iman and Sessilee Lopez in a historic all-black cover.

Jourdan, who is five months pregnant (reportedly with a boy), spoke about her baby’s father, the pressures on minority models and how she has finally become comfortable with not having the type of body prized in the Afro-Caribbean community.

About her boyfriend:

My boyfriend didn’t even know I was a model when I started going out with him and we’ve been together for three years now. It’s hard, you never really know whether people want to be around Jourdan or Jourdan Dunn, and he’s been there from when I was just Jourdan.

About her body:

I’m starting to feel more secure in who I am now. Being from an Afro-Caribbean family, being black, skinny, isn’t really acceptable in that community; it’s all about having curves and stuff…. That’s why I’ve never been comfortable with my body until now, when I realize I can say this is who I am, I’m healthy, I’ve always liked to eat, and I’m now happy enough in my own skin to not give a fuck what anyone says about me any more.

About the pressures on black models:

There are loads of black models working and the idea that there’s only a few of us, or four of us, to let in as top models at any one time is just bullsh*t. It creates an unnecessary competition when we should be standing together.

True talk Jourdan. Pity Naomi didn’t recognise this back in the day and was so mean to Tyra.

In other islandista fashion magazine news, we have more pics from Rihanna’s shoot for the couture supplement of Vogue Italia.

And… we’re on the fence about it.

Yes, it is supposed to be edgy and most of the pictures are very dark and stark but in some of them, it’s like Klein is just relying on using disturbing and stereotypical imagery to get a rise.

The shots are littered with them – below is a shot that seems to hint at bondage and violence against women – pretty inappropriate considering what Rihanna has been through.

photo credit: Stephen Klein for Italian Vogue
photo credit: Stephen Klein for Italian Vogue

There is another shot which seems reminiscent of blackface to me which is … uncomfortable to do with any black model, far less one whose black and white sides are not many generations back.


Seriously. What the feck is this? We know that is not Rihanna’s complexion and she does not even look like this in the majority of the pics so it is not like it is a make-up theme that is running throughout the shoot.


And then this one where she’s on her hands and knees – in a pretty animalistic, stalking-type pose.

Black woman as fearsome animal? Hmm. Aren’t fetishistic white fashion photogs tired of this yet?

There are other great shots like the two below but the inclusion of these kinds of images is a little suss to this islandista. What do you think?



By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

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