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Harper’s Bazaar Megan Thee Stallion cover sparks representation controversy

A Harper’s Bazaar cowl that includes Megan Thee Stallion has been criticised for its portrayal of the rapper, amid persevering with debate over how black individuals are photographed in trend.

The March issue of the venerable journal has two covers. The primary options Megan Thee Stallion in a black bardot prime from Saint Laurent. Within the second she wears a black cape from Chanel and earrings from Bulgari.

The pictures, which see the rapper embracing a minimalist, pared-down look, met with derision in some quarters. Some social media customers criticised the lighting, somber temper and common aesthetic.

“Nah this ain’t it – photographer didn’t even know how one can seize Megan’s pores and skin appropriately … in any of the pics,” wrote one user.

“Hopefully (she) discovered so much from this,” one other commented: “In case you can’t seize darkish skinned ladies simply say that.”

“Y’all clearly want a black artistic director on set,” wrote another.

Nonetheless, in an Instagram submit which was later made private, the photographer Collier Schorr mentioned Megan Thee Stallion, who is understood for her glamorous appears to be like, labored together with her on the images.

“A most outstanding expertise making footage with Megan Thee Stallion,” Schorr wrote, “who mentioned every image and edited afterwards with me … whole collaboration correctly to make collectively new pictures of her at this second in her life.”

The rapper, who has modelled for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie line and has signed a take care of Revlon cosmetics, informed the journal in an interview her fashion was evolving.

“I’m realising that I don’t must be in full glam each time you see me,” she mentioned, “as a result of I’m simply getting extra snug with myself and extra snug with my pores and skin.”

The shoot was styled by Samira Nasr, the journal’s first black editor-in-chief. Nonetheless, Harper’s discovered itself on the centre of the newest controversy round representations of well-known black ladies by trend magazines.

Final month, Vogue US printed a restricted variety of its Kamala Harris February cover after an internet outcry during which a deliberate cowl displaying the then vice-president-elect was known as “disrespectful” and the images “whitewashed”.

In response, the editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, mentioned: “It was completely not our intention to, in any manner, diminish the significance of [Harris’s] unbelievable victory.”

In August, Vanity Fair was praised for hiring Dario Calmese as the primary black cowl photographer in its 107-year historical past, to shoot the actor Viola Davis. However the cowl was criticised on-line when Calmese revealed the pose was a homage to The Scourged Black, an 1863 {photograph} of a freed slave displaying scars from a number of whippings.

US Vogue’s August concern was additionally criticised, for the way in which the quilt star, the gymnast Simone Biles, was lit and shot.

Final June, when Nasr’s appointment as editor was introduced, Hearst, which owns Harper’s Bazaar, posted a video concerning her imaginative and prescient for the magazine.

“Because the proud daughter of a Lebanese father and a Trinidadian mom, my worldview is expansive and is anchored within the perception that illustration issues,” she mentioned, including that her purpose was to “give all voices a platform to inform tales that may have by no means been informed”.

The Guardian has requested remark from Megan Thee Stallion, Schorr and Harper’s Bazaar.

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