An upcoming issue of French Vogue features a White model painted Black, which is, understandably, disturbing to many.
French Vogue is known for a more experimental approach to fashion than their sister publication in America, but this time they may have gone too far.
Recent scans of an upcoming model show Dutch model Lara Stone painted in a deep chocolate and posing in ethnic garb.
While the issue was intended to celebrate supermodels, it hit a nerve for some members of the fashion community.
Women’s blog Jezebel.com wrote that, "painting white people black for the entertainment of other white people is offensive in ways that stand entirely apart from cultural context."
Urban fashion site The Fashion Bomb agreed, writing, "Why the French Vogue team thought this was a good idea is beyond me. Some things you should never be so bold as to say or do, but it seems there are no standards of grace or social decorum when it comes to fashion."
White actors appearing as Black characters was a common practice in the early part of the 19th century, as part of the Vaudeville industry (in fact, William Frawley, or Fred from "I Love Lucy," performed minstrel songs like "My Mammy" during the early part of his career).
Depicted as being lazy, dishonest and overly sexual, the characters were negative generalizations of African-Americans.
What do you think of the pictures — high fashion or highly offensive?
– Whitney Teal