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In Latest Episode Of ‘All Black People Don’t Look Alike’: A Magazine Mixed-Up Two Black Models For A Feature Interview

An Australian magazine is under fire after they incorrectly identified the South Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech, and published a photograph of model Lavia Lazarus instead. Akech, who’s worked with Chanel, Vogue, British Vogue, and other well-renowned fashion publications, took to Instagram to express her disappointment after the magazine published another model in a feature she was interviewed for. 

She was interviewed by WHO magazine, a celebrity and entertainment publication, ahead of Melbourne Fashion Week which begins in Australia this week on August 28.

According to Akech, the publication already directly issued an apology to her but she still wanted to share with the public how the incident made her feel. 

“With the article, they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl,” Akech wrote in her Instagram caption. “This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances.”

She went on to write that she not only felt insulted and disrespected but she felt like her entire race had been disrespected too. According to the model, the incident compelled her to address the issue so that similar flubs would not be repeated.

In her interview with Australia’s WHO Magazine, Akech said she spoke about how people view refugees and about people’s attitude to people of color in general. But after they mistook her for another Black model, she felt that it not only disrespected her but also defeated the purpose of what she said in her interview and what she stood for. 

Akech went on to write in the lengthy caption that she feels this wouldn’t have happened to a white model and it’s also not the first time she’s experienced something similar to this, she added.

@adutakech / Instagram

In her caption, Akech also opened up about the many times other people have called her by another model’s name. Ultimately, Akech hopes that by speaking up and publicly addressing how this made her feel, it will work as somewhat of a “wake up call to people within the [fashion] industry.” 

Publications need to do better, and so do the writers, photographers, fact-checkers, and editors within these publications. Akech ended her caption by saying that Australia has a lot of work to do and so does the rest of the industry. 

Many people on Twitter also showed their support for Adut Akech and voiced their opinions about the gross trend of mistaking other black women for each other in the fashion and entertainment industry.

Lord Mayor Melbourne Sally Capp on Twitter went on to air her frustrations and disappointments with what happened. “Respect for all people from all backgrounds is fundamental to our city and our culture. The diversity of our community is precious and something we truly value and celebrate,” she added. 

Capp went on to write that she was working to identify ways to make a positive impact so these acts of discrimination do not keep happening. She said she will be meeting with model Adut Akech and went on to express her “deepest apologies.” 

Most importantly, she tweeted, the City of Melbourne will be working with Adut to “create the most positive and proactive outcome from an awful and completely avoidable situation.”

While it’s great to see that Lord Mayor Melbourne Sally Capp is taking the necessary steps to address this situation in a mature and constructive manner, she hits the nail right on the head when she says this was a completely avoidable situation.  

One user tweeted that mistaking Adut Akech for another Black woman is just another form of blatant of racism.  

Shahmir Sanni tweeted that Adut Akech has been on “every major magazine in the world” and that white writers need to do better and avoid another racist incident like this in the future. “When a black woman has worked hard for her accolades, broken a multitude of glass ceilings, spoken up for refugees unapologetically, misidentifying her plays into the structural & institutional biases of our societies,” Sanni wrote in another tweet

Another Twitter user pointed out that Adut Akech is simultaneously on 3 different September covers — including Meghan Markle’s Vogue issue where she was a guest editor.

And yet, they added, the wrong photo of her was still included in the Australian magazine. 

Other folks on Twitter were also quick to reiterate that Adut Akech is one of the world’s top models at the moment and that this irresponsible “mix-up” is something other Black women can relate to. 

“All of us who have been mistaken for another can empathize,” they tweeted. 

Since Akech shared her post on Instagram, Melbourne Fashion Week also published an apology on its Instagram page saying they were extremely disappointed that a photo of one of their campaign models, Flavia Lazarus, was “mistaken;y printed instead of a photo of Adut.” 

Further, BBC also reached out to WHO Magazine for a statement. To which they responded that “The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologise for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved, and our client the City of Melbourne.”

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A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

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A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

Atsushi Tomura/Getty

In 2009, the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reported that almost 5.4 million people in the United States live with paralysis. Still, despite how common this is, few people understand the condition of paralysis and how it affects a person’s daily life. Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Tawil, of New Jersey, recently set out to explain the experience on TikTok last year.

Since her first post in November, the TikToker has garnered over 1 million followers with content that focuses on her experience of being paralyzed from the waist down.

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil explained an exercise that might give people a chance to understand the sensation of being paraplegic.

@jesstawil

#foryoupage #fyp #foryou #whatilearned #stemlife #needtoknow #weekendvibes #bekind #spinalcordinjury #productivity #disability #medical #paralyzed

♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil shared an exercise with her followers that demonstrates how it feels to not be able to move a ligament. In this case, it’s your finger. According to Buzzfeed, Tawil came across the exercise after looking through posts related to disabilities. “I remember feeling so blown away because my legs felt the exact same way as my finger did,” she said.

“Not many people know too much about paraplegics and their capabilities, so I wanted to be that light to inform, educate, and even entertain people,” Tawil explained to BuzzFeed. “I want people to know what it’s like to be paralyzed … so that they can be a little bit more appreciative of what they have and remain humble.”

Tawil’s video demonstration currently has over 12 million views.

Tawil explained that a kidnapping and car accident led to her paralysis when she was in her teens.

Tawil explained that the accident took place on Nov. 15, 2014, when she went to a friend’s house in high school. When she arrived, Tawil discovered that men were present and instantly felt uncomfortable when she further learned that they had brought drugs and alcohol.

“When I eventually asked them to take me home, they took me to an abandoned road instead. When we got to this road, the driver stopped the car and put his foot on the gas and brake at the same time, doing a burnout with his wheels. He lost control of the car and crashed into a tree,” Tawil explained. “It was at this moment that I got whiplash, split my head open to the point where my skull was exposed, and sustained a spinal cord injury — leaving me paralyzed the moment we crashed,” she said. “Paramedics said that I lost the equivalence of a ‘Coca-Cola bottle of blood’ out of my head, and didn’t think I’d make it if they drove me to the hospital. So they drove me to a nearby soccer field where a helicopter airlifted me to the ICU. From there on, I went through seven months of rehab and remained permanently paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.”

Speaking about her injury, Tawil says she was “robbed of my ability to use the bathroom normally (I depend on catheters and enemas).”

Sadly Tawil says her experience led to her reclusiveness and weariness to trust others. Still, she finds that her disability comes with positives. “On the positive side, I have become a lot more spiritual and grateful to have been given another chance at life,” she told BuzzFeed. “My accident has emphasized the fact that we are not promised tomorrow, and that we should always be grateful for the simplest things in life… I also want to show people how I live my life in the present day — what is life like as a wheelchair user? — and devote my channel to being a blog where people can get to know me on a lot more of a personal level.”

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Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Photo via Getty Images

Ben Affleck is opening up about the early 2000s when he and Jennifer Lopez were Hollywood’s It Couple. The duo–formerly known by the moniker “Bennifer”–captivated the world with their glamourous and somewhat surprising courtship.

But the relationship eventually unraveled under the intense pressure of public scrutiny.

In a recent podcast appearance, Affleck revealed just how terrible and racially-charged the criticism on their relationship was.

“People were so f–king mean about her,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious s–t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said.”

“At first At first it was like Dick and Liz [Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor], it was this sort of infatuation: ‘What an interesting couple‘. And then there was a ton of resentment. A ton of resentment against me, a ton of resentment against Jennifer.”

He went on to explain that what was so fascinating about the relationship to the general public–namely, how they had such vastly different backgrounds–wasn’t something he thought twice about.

Affleck went on to sing JLo’s praises, saying that she deserves all of the praise and adulation she now receives.

“Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished–as well she f**king should be!” he said.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” he explained. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethnically mixed place–those kinds of differences that just seem to shock America were meaningless to me.”

“I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today…just on a pure odds level.”

He concluded: “I never met anyone who worked harder than Jennifer Lopez.” On that, we can definitely agree.

Jennifer Lopez has also been candid about how traumatic the public response was back then to her relationship with Ben Affleck.

“I was eviscerated,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the media coverage of her and Ben’s relationship we well as their much-maligned film, “Gigli”. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But now, it appears they’re both in happier places. Ben Affleck has two children with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner and JLo is happily engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

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