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People Are Mad At Teen Vogue For The Model Featured In An Article About Senegalese Twists

The article's author defended the photo shoot, saying, "This mixed-race model is as black as I am."

The latest issue of Teen Vogue features an article by its beauty and health director, Elaine Welteroth, in which she discusses her experiences with Senegalese twists.

She talks about getting the twists done in Rwanda and the reaction she got when she returned to New York.

But people are up in arms about the print version of Welteroth's story, which doesn't feature her, but a model named Phillipa Steele. Steele told Models.com she is half Fijian, and also Tongan, French, English, and American.

The print version also featured a collage of other women, including Zendaya. The teen pop star made headlines for wearing dreadlocks to the Oscars, and then for battling racist comments over her look.

Pretty soon, people on Twitter began to express outrage over the fact that the print magazine used a "white model" for the photo shoot.

Shame on you @TeenVogue for appropriating protective hairstyles for black hair by putting them on and interviewing white models. Bad call.

One of the first people to criticize the magazine was user @JOJOTHAJAWN, who posted her series of tweets to Tumblr. Thousands of people responded to her post.

She wrote:

Fuck @TeenVogue for their bullshit article about Senegalese twists and only showing one black girl for example! How could you!!!!

Seriously not buying @TeenVogue again. I'm so insulted by this! You interview a White girl about African hairstyles!!

Zendaya is not the only POC who wears these hairstyles. So why is she the only POC you showed as example!?? @TeenVogue

Snuck a pic of Zoe Kravitz in there. Two light skin black women. What about Solange? Janelle Monae?? Non celebrity POC??!!

It's bad enough that your cheap ass mag barely has any BW but the ONE time you should, you don't deliver. @TeenVogue

Other Twitter users criticized the mag for its choice of models.

@TeenVogue why's your magazine so anti black?????

And who it featured in the collage.

@TeenVogue A hairstyle predominantly worn by varying shades of Black ppl and you pick the lightest skinned black ppl to feature

They said the magazine has always had a problem with diversity.

there is RARELY black women on teen vogue and the one time it is completely necessary, you have your generic white girls in BW hairstyles???

Story author Elaine Welteroth defended the choice of the model on her Instagram page.

Teen Vogue told BuzzFeed News they had no comment.

BuzzFeed News has contacted Steele for comment.

Model Phillipa Steele also commented on Instagram, writing, "For the record, if anyone even cares . 😂 Yes im half black and half French."


In a later post, @JOJOTHAJAWN wrote that her main problem with the article was that she saw "absolutely NOONE who looks like me in that article."