Karlie Kloss and ‘Vogue’ are under fire over a controversial Japanese-themed photo shoot for their March ‘Diversity’ issue. In the photos, Karlie is dressed as a geisha and fans are outraged over the ‘racist’ pics. Karlie has since released an apology. You can see the photos, explosive tweets and her statement, here.
Karlie Kloss, 24, and Vogue are feeling the heat today, after photos from the mag’s March “Diversity Issue” were released on Feb. 15. In the controversial photos, Karlie is dressed as a geisha, which is a traditional Japanese female entertainer of performing arts. Geisha women are said to be typically dressed in formal kimonos, Shimada-styled nihongami black wigs, with white face makeup, red lipstick and dark eye makeup — almost the exact look that Karlie displayed. The photos can be seen below. Note: Vogue never published the photos of Karlie online, contrary to other reports.
Karlie Kloss is under fire for culture appropriation after the release of her March 2017 Vogue US photoshoot. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/Nm9N523Y2G
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 15, 2017
The spread — which was shot in Japan by Photographer Mikael Jansson — featured a series of photos where Karlie was dressed in multiple geisha garbs, with a Shimada-styled nihongami black wig and red lipstick. Karlie’s spread was reportedly meant to pay homage to a 1996 Vogue shoot.
As soon as the photos were released, the mag and Karlie were the subject of angry tweets. Twitter users criticized the mag for casting a “white model” in a Japanese-themed photoshoot. Fans also claimed that Vogue and the model were exhibiting “racism” and “yellowface” [which is a form of makeup used by white individuals to represent East Asian people]. Karlie issued a public apology where she expressed her regret for participating in the shoot. Read her statement, below:
Read the angry tweets from fans who slammed the controversial “Diversity” shoot.
Has Vogue lost it? Karlie Kloss as a geisha.
"What look should we go for this March?"
"How about yellowface and assorted Orientalism?" pic.twitter.com/bXZfiKzpe1
— Suzanne Enzerink (@suzanneenzerink) February 15, 2017
Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson, and Tilda Swinton turn to Karlie Kloss. "Your turn, girl."
Karlie on phone: "Hello, Vogue? Make me Asian." pic.twitter.com/zgUWIB022Q
— Ira Madison III (@ira) February 14, 2017
yellowface is real and racist and karlie kloss just did it in vogue!!!!!
— simone (@balloonbreath) February 15, 2017
SHE DID YELLOW FACE IN THE DIVERSITY ISSUE 🙃🙃🙃 https://t.co/E5J1isp4GF
— Ainee Athar (@AineeWrites) February 14, 2017
This isn’t the first time Vogue has come under fire for its March “Diversity” issue. When the mag released its cover, which featured Kendall Jenner, 21, Gigi Hadid, 21, and plus-size model Ashley Graham, 28, fans slammed Vogue for photoshopping the cover. They criticized the mag for making Ashley appear thinner and for making Gigi’s arm look longer, among other things.
And, this isn’t the first time Karlie’s been at the center of cultural appropriation accusations. When she walked in the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the model wore a Native American-themed headdress with a beige, fringe bikini. Fans slammed Karlie for not being educated on the Native American culture. When the look was pulled from the TV broadcast of the show, she later issued an apology on Twitter that read: “I am deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone. I support VS’s decision to remove the outfit from the broadcast”. Yikes.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Karlie’s photo shoot with Vogue? Tell us below.