LIFESTYLE
04/01/2018 19:33 SAST | Updated 04/01/2018 19:34 SAST

British Vogue Says ‘We Need To Talk About Race,’ Puts White Actresses On Cover

"This must be a joke."

New year, same British Vogue.

Readers had high hopes that the fashion bible would become more inclusive and diverse under the direction of new editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, which is why the mag's recent issue left some fans more than disappointed.

On Instagram on Wednesday, the mag introduced its special February issue, which features Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman. The issue celebrates "Hollywood's New Era," but among the stars listed on the cover as the "year's greatest performers," only one — Hong Chau — was an actress of colour.

Considering Hollywood's own issues with diversity — from whitewashing to stereotyping — this is certainly an eyebrow-raising cover. But to make matters worse, one of the magazine's taglines reads, "Why we need to talk about race" while it showcases two white actresses.

To say that fans were baffled by the tone-deaf cover is an understatement. In the comments, plenty of readers criticized the mag for its lack of representation and diversity.

"This must be a joke," one wrote.

"I thought Vogue UK was going to focus more on models and diversity?" another questioned. "Yet another blond US celebrity on the cover, sorry but I feel that this is a step backward."

"Okay this is definitely not the 'new vogue' we thought we were gonna see," another chimed.

Enninful is the first man and first black editor-in-chief of British Vogue, which is why readers were hopeful that his new direction would bring about change to the magazine. (Alexandra Shulman was the former editor-in-chief and led the magazine for 25 years.)

In an interview with BBC in November, Enninful, 46, declared: "My Vogue is about being inclusive. It is about diversity — showing different women, different body shapes, different races, different classes [and] tackling gender."

Enninful delivered his first edition of British Vogue in December, which featured mixed-race fashion model and activist Adwoa Aboah.

A post shared by Adwoa Aboah (@adwoaaboah) on

His second edition, however, featured Taylor Swift, and his third is the latest Hollywood issue with Robbie and Kidman.

On social media, readers can't help but express their disappointment in the lack of progress the magazine appears to be making when it comes to being more inclusive.

But it's not just British Vogue that's received backlash for showcasing a lack of diversity. Other Vogue editions have also been caught up in controversies over representation. Most notably, the U.S. edition featured model Karlie Kloss in yellow face for its March 2017 issue, which claimed to celebrate diversity.

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