While the prevailing opinion regarding white people in blackface finally seems to be JUST DON’T DO IT EVER (scroll to the bottom of this post for the rule in picture form if you’re still not sure), this sentiment is repeatedly proving to be lost on the fashion set.
The latest person to don the blackface, add an afro wig, document it on Instagram and subsequently delete the evidence is Elle‘s beauty editor Jeanne Deroo. Deroo posted the highly offensive snap to her account over the weekend, where it was reportedly met with a mix of shock and straight-up cultural obliviousness. According to Fashion Bomb Daily, who discovered the social media minstrelsy, some commenters even suggested Deroo wear it to the office on Monday. Giant face-palm.
You’d think fashion would be treading particularly lightly around the issue of accidental racism after that horrific Disco Africa Halloween party. And Elle staffers particularly considering the magazine’s US version is still under fire for that whole North Korea Chic debacle. But c’mon, people — Deroo, Katy Perry, Stefano Gabbana and anyone else contemplating topping off an ensemble with some offensive cultural appropriation — just don’t do it.
UPDATE: Deroo has responded to the blackface brouhaha, tweeting at us thusly:
I realise how much the fact of painting oneself brown is an offensive act. I didn’t realise the seriousness of my action when I went to a private party last Saturday evening, which the theme was “Icons”, and where I chose to embody Solange Knowles, of whom I am a fan. During this private party, I posted a picture of myself on my Instagram without intention of hurting anyone. I deeply regret and would like to present all my apologies. I would also like to indicate that this picture published in a private context does not involve in any way the french ELLE magazine I work for, and I am sorry for the prejudice it has caused.
Let this serve as yet another warning, fellow whites. Just remember: No one ever complained because a costume wasn’t racist enough.