Miz Belle sent us a set of photos from the September issue (#106) of Numéro, a fashion magazine. The fashion spread, titled “Best Friends” (I found at least one post online saying the two models are, in fact, good friends) features a White woman in at least enough clothing to cover her lady bits posed next to a Black woman whose breasts are on display as she is either entirely or partially naked.

These aren’t even vaguely safe for work.

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Notice, too, that in two of the photos the Black woman’s face is covered (and her mouth is in the last one), in another she’s standing behind a gate that is reminiscent of the bars of a prison or cage, and in a couple she’s wearing bondage-like clothing.

I went through post after post after post that I could find online about them, looking for an explanation–is it some type of commentary on portrayals of Black and White women, or colonialism, or…something? Is it supposed to be ironic? Would people get it if it’s any of those? Is it supposed to be titillating to think of these two women hanging out (partially) naked together?

I found lots of websites that had the photos, but none of them offer any explanation or context. The photographer’s website (it’s Greg Kadel) didn’t provide any illumination either–just lots of fairly standard fashion photos and magazine covers with lots of naked/nearly naked women and a lot fewer naked men.

So I don’t know if there’s supposed to be some deep statement about race and gender here or something, but it very much reproduces the creepy naked Black woman/clothed White woman imagery that we see often, such as in the ads we discussed here.

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