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Back in blackface

October 13, 2009

500x_ls_gallianoLast week, in “Hey Hey, it’s racist!” Jef wrote about an Australian television program featuring five men in blackface dancing around as the Jackson 5. There’s not much dancing or overt minstrelsy in one of French Vogue‘s latest editorial spreads, featuring “plus-size” (size 4) model Lara Stone, but you’ve still got to question the logic behind the decision. And I’m kind of amazed at all the unquestioning decision-makers involved in the process (I mean, working at a magazine with stakes much less involved than FRENCH VOGUE, I can say that everyone vets this kind of stuff).

New York magazine also notes that the issue features atleast eight other models—none of which are black. So, controversial, or not? I’d just love to hear the explanations given for these kind of decisions. It’s times like this when women like me realize how exclusive the fashion industry actually is: the seemingly slight “mistakes” that slip through the heavily-censored cracks. I am consistently awed by the immaculate style sensibility of French Vogue‘s editor Carine Roitfeld and fashion director Emmanuelle Alt. But there’s no dearth of non-white beauties available to the fashion world, and when do we begin to question artistic impulses as insensitive decadence?

Photo via Jezebel.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink*
    October 14, 2009 12:17 am

    I don’t want to defend fashion since I know nothing about it — but haute couture (am I even using that phrase correctly?) seems to be such a random fucked up world that they can kind of get away with all sorts of shit and nobody really bats an eye anymore. Just because it might harkon back to something racist doesn’t make it any less weird than wearing a fucking tree on your head; in my mind, at least. At that point you’re just kinda splitting hairs on the giant dog from “Neverending Story”.

  2. October 16, 2009 12:56 am

    Halloween’s coming! Do you think I’ll be okay if I show up to the Halloween Jay-Z show *as* Jay-Z?

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