The cover of British Vogue‘s February issue featuring nine black models has been labelled ‘offensive’ on social media as critics claim bad lighting and poor styling hid the women’s features and made their skin blacker to cater to the ‘white gaze’.

For an issue celebrating the rise of African models, it’s Vogue’s first time to feature a group of black women this size on the cover. The cover was shot by Brazilian photographer Rafael Pavarotti and styled by British Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful OBE and features models Adut Akech, Amar Akway, Majesty Amare, Akon Changkou, Maty Fall, Janet Jumbo, Abény Nhial, Nyagua Ruea, and Anok Yai.

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The images, however, have amassed negative reactions and criticisms with fans saying the ‘badly lit’ image appeared to darken the models, who have a range of skin tones, to a point where they were unrecognizable and look like ‘mannequins’.

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