EVERYTHING IS RACIST!
Cosmopolitan writer Helin Jung wrote that Victoria’s Secret has developed racist lingerie for its annual fashion show. Yes, apparently lingerie can be racist:
None of that even sounds nice, but if it does, don’t let yourself be hoodwinked by Victoria’s Secret’s brazen attempt to re-label what is clearly cultural appropriation by turning it into a celebration of “culture.” The brand and its creative leads shamelessly cherry-picked imagery, breaking apart aesthetic references from wherever they wanted and stitching them back together again. They’re telling us it’s worldliness. It’s not, it’s a hack job.
As Emily Zanotti at Heat Street points out, when anyone tries to celebrate culture, people will greet it “with charges of bigotry.”
The first segment called “The Road Ahead” wanted to showcase different cultures around the world, featuring items designed from the people the theme wants to celebrate:
Arpana Rayamajhi, a Nepalese jewelry designer based in New York City, described the theme this way: She said, “The idea is that you’re blending little bits of this and that from all cultures around the world.” Rayamajhi created much of the handmade jewelry for the segment; the jewelry included silk threads turned into tassels, coins from Nepal, and beads — “a huge part of my culture.”
For some reason, Jung cannot stand this. She also found it disturbing that the company used “strips of culture” in its designs, “inspired by the likes of Peruvian, Mexican, and Chinese design.” Jung continued:
Collection creative director Sophia Neophitou described the hand-painted fabrics used in this segment by saying, “It’s meant to be this naive, homespun … but this is so luxurious.”
It doesn’t get much more patronizing than that, does it? The original version is made by simple people (“naive”) who make crafts (“homespun”), and it’s Victoria’s Secret that can elevate the primitive to something more “luxurious.” What would be the point of the corporation’s untold resources and unparalleled knowledge of world cultures if it couldn’t do that?
Nope. To Jung, all of this is another way for the Western world to show hatred towards other cultures. It is another way for the Western world to profit off of others.
Look, social justice warriors, you can’t have it both ways. You cannot complain about a lack of diversity or that others do not care about other cultures and then bitch when a company does exactly that:
With its positive, pre-emptive spin about globalization and multi-culturalism, Victoria’s Secret seems to have anticipated my response. The brand is leading with the notion that we’re all members of the human race, therefore everything belongs to everyone. But this is exceptional disingenuousness coming from a brand that once put Karlie Kloss in a Native American war bonnet and leopard print underwear. The fact is that even as the world gets more connected, a sexist, patriarchal, mostly white corporation continues to take what it wants for its own gain. Its exploitation of these cultural references is meant to lead directly to profits. And I’m not buying it.
So where does it stop? It’s a no win situation when it comes to these social justice warriors who want to find fault in everything they see. The warriors complain about a lack of diversity, but when a company decides to make diversity a theme the warriors claim racism.
I admit I had a hard time writing this post because I could hardly find the words to express the weirdness in Jung’s train of thought.
But will the warriors ever learn to take it easy and stop taking everything so seriously?DONATE
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