We wanted to hire a black model, says Vogue, but they were all so black, so we painted a white model black instead. Good thinking, huh?

Posted: October 17, 2009 in racism, wtf?
Tags: , ,

I swear I only missed this because of my complete and utter disinterest in fashion.

Anyway, meet Lara Stone, a white model. The fact that she is white is significant because the French Vogue thought it was apparently much easier and cooler to paint a white model black than to hire an actual black one. Sirs, I approve of you brilliant thinking! (NO)

And, no way, there’s nothing racist about it at all!

larastone

Lara Stone painted black:

wtfblackface

Although personally I think this one is much more offensive:

lara-stone-2

(Also, to those USians who argue in comments in various places that Vogue France did it just To Spite America: dudes, I know this might be a revelation for you, but the French really don’t care about you as much as you’d like to imagine deep in your pathetic wee egotistical hearts.

Also, there’s the fact that France has no tradition of blackface, and therefore no knee-jerk reaction to the said blackface, but guess what? The idea that it’s a better idea to paint a white woman black than to hire a black woman is STILL AS RACIST AS IT WAS THREE SECONDS BEFORE YOU READ THIS SENTENCE.)

(Basically, most people involved in this should die ASAP)

(Also, criticising the fashion industry doesn’t make you a homophobe, FAAAIL)

(Since when is the entire fashion industry gay, anyway? What are you people, terminally nincompoop?)

(via)

ETA: fixed egotistical!

Comments
  1. teelynn says:

    “egotical” isn’t a word. Perhaps you meant “egotistical”?

    • As a matter of fact, I did. My point still stands, though.
      ETA: to clarify. I didn’t mean this comment to be about all USians, only about those who make up ridiculous conspiracy theories, instead on focusing on the real issue here. And the real issue here is RACISM IN VOGUE KIWF.

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Reddit by Icanhazreddit: NSFW Pic at bottom… thanks for the warning….

  3. blahrg says:

    ETA means Estimated Time of Arrival, not…whatever your small brain thinks it is. If you want to talk down to people, it would help to actually be smart.

    • Princess, you want to correct somebody, you’d better look up your acronyms. ETA means Edited To Add, of course.

      And, holy derailment, Batman. I’d like to remind you that maybe the issue here is that VOGUE IS RACIST, not that you feel oppressed and experience the need to play the world’s smallest violin every time someone says USian conspiracy theorists are stupid.

      ETA: fixed a typo. AGAIN. WHY DO I EVEN BOTHER ANYMOAAAR.

      • gordo says:

        “smalles” isn’t a word. Perhaps you meant “smallest”?

        Ha, just kidding. I’m only pretending to be a douche. I understand that the real issue here is that VOGUE IS RACIST.

  4. Ausir says:

    @blahrg

    Ever heard of the notion that some acronyms can actually have more than one meaning?

  5. It’s not any more racist than having Indian actors play Arabs like in Lost, or Korean actors play Japanese people like in Star Trek.

    • Ausir says:

      Except these people already looked the part, unlike the white model that was painted black.

      I do think it’s silly that they hired an Indian guy to play an Arab in Lost, though, since it led to Koreans speaking Korean (with subtitles) to each other and Arabs speaking English to each other. I hated this inconsistency. But I wouldn’t really call it racist.

    • Yes, totally. Because you absolutely had to make the effort of painting those actors before they could be hired.

      Also, geek!fail. As a matter of fact, Hikaru Sulu was never meant to be Japanese. The creators of ST often emphasised that he was supposed to represent an Asian person in general. Also, “Sulu” is not a Japanese name at all (morphological structure of Japanese actually makes it impossible, also, there’s no “l” in Japanese, so), it was based on a toponym.

      • Ausir says:

        He might be referring to Hoshi Sato, not to Sulu, though, who is a Japanese character played by a Korean actress.

      • AJ says:

        Personally, I’ve heard from Asian friends who get furious when people whose ancestors hailed from one Asian nation are hired to play people from another…and I’ve heard from others who are just pleased when the hiring director gets the basic phenotype more or less right.

        But I have yet to hear from anyone who’s not offended when people hire from completely outside the appropriate phenotype, unless said nonoffended person is trying to be an apologist (I just want to enjoy my movie, I don’t see why they can’t cast white if the best actors are white(?!), aren’t you being racist against whites?). (See: The Last Airbender casting controversy.) http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/

  6. hyty smith says:

    Sir, you have too much time in your hands

  7. Ausir :

    He might be referring to Hoshi Sato, not to Sulu, though, who is a Japanese character played by a Korean actress.

    Yeah, but they still didn’t have to paint her =_=

    It’s not the *idea* that all nationalities HAVE to be played by actors of the appropriate nationalities that’s important. It’s the fact that there are people who think that painting a white woman black is easier and more reasonable than hiring an actual black model. How can anyone miss how absurd (AND RACIST) this is?

    • Ausir says:

      Well, actually, not really less absurd than, for the same show, hiring actual Koreans who speak Korean among each other on screen (subtitled), and hiring Indians that don’t speak Arabic at all to play Iraqis, only to have them speak English-representing-Arabic to each other in the very same show. Either use the actual foreign languages in all cases or use English to represent the languages in all cases, having both for different languages is extremely silly.

      • Yeah, but they will always use only English, anyway. Or, English with foreign accent. This stopped bothering me ages ago.
        Painting people on the other hand –

        Look! A gem from Reddit:

        So a magazine based on looks chooses to paint a white model black because they thought it would look better and you decide it is racism?

        MYGOD. THE IRONYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.
        Reddit: it’s like Wykop, only with more fapping.

      • Ausir says:

        Thing is, using only English or English with a foreign accent also stopped bothering me years ago. But on Lost, they use both actual Korean with English subtitles *and* English with a foreign accent that pretends to be Arabic. It’s the inconsistency that’s bothering me.

  8. Ausir says:

    “ETA: fixed egotisical!”

    Now fix egotistical in the note about fixing it.

  9. gordo :

    “smalles” isn’t a word. Perhaps you meant “smallest”?

    Ha, just kidding. I’m only pretending to be a douche. I understand that the real issue here is that VOGUE IS RACIST.

    DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN. I HATE MY STUPID HANDS AND THEIR STUPID TYPOS.

    Anyway, I edited you comment. You mistyped you URL, so it landed in my spam folder. Hope you don’t mind!

    (LOL, we need something like: Typos: The Internet Disease)

  10. Neil says:

    sendaianonymous :

    Ausir :
    It’s the fact that there are people who think that painting a white woman black is easier and more reasonable than hiring an actual black model. How can anyone miss how absurd (AND RACIST) this is?

    Where is your headline quote from? Cos i can’t find Vogue saying ANYTHING along those lines.

    In my mind the photos are clearly trying to make an (albeit slightly lame) talking point – and are absolutely not trying to pass her off as a black person. The physical differences are highlighted by showing her next to Africans.

    You’re either getting your knickers in a twist about something you’ve misinterpreted/made up, or you’ve deliberately made it up to get other people going.

    • They didn’t SAY it, they just DID it. You tell me which is actually worse.

      In my mind the photos are clearly trying to make an (albeit slightly lame) talking point –

      I’m sorry? And what point would that be?

      Yeah, I definitely pondered and plotted all night how to get 6000+ clueless/racist/idiotic/trolling brilliant minds from Reddit.
      Not to mention the spammers. Brilliant work! Go me! (NOT)

  11. Sol Invictus says:

    Guess who’s responsible for putting this on reddit.

  12. erich viedge says:

    Actually I don’t know what the problem is. Her big lips and nose make her look black even though she’s white. If they’re going to paint a white model black, they picked the right one! ;-)

  13. […] nergdasm… Kirk vs. Runescape!Vogue France: They’re bringin’ minstrelsy back! http://bit.ly/3qGcOV #FrancoFailEMINEM IN KLINGONESE?!?!? Presenting, Klenginem “SuvwI’pu’ qan […]

  14. Whitey McPale says:

    I am white and I am offended at the word “knickers” being used in one of the comments… The Vogue thing just looks like “is it art?” to me. Art is pretty messed up generally so I am going to go with that rather than racist. Artists always try to make stupid points that people already understand very well, they must lead very sheltered lives!

  15. […] We wanted to hire a black model, says Vogue, but they were all so black, so we painted a white mode… I swear I only missed this because of my complete and utter disinterest in fashion. Anyway, meet Lara Stone, a white […] […]

  16. that is one of the wildest things i have ever seen on the internet.

  17. […] We wanted to hire a black model, says Vogue, but they were all so black, so we painted a white model… sendaianonymous.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/we-wanted-to-hire-a-black-model-says-vogue-but-they-were-all-so-black-so-we-painted-a-white-model-black-instead-good-thinking-huh – view page – cached Home > racism, wtf? > We wanted to hire a black model, says Vogue, but they were all so black, so we painted a white model black instead. Good thinking, huh? — From the page […]

  18. AJ :

    Personally, I’ve heard from Asian friends who get furious when people whose ancestors hailed from one Asian nation are hired to play people from another…and I’ve heard from others who are just pleased when the hiring director gets the basic phenotype more or less right.

    But I have yet to hear from anyone who’s not offended when people hire from completely outside the appropriate phenotype, unless said nonoffended person is trying to be an apologist (I just want to enjoy my movie, I don’t see why they can’t cast white if the best actors are white(?!), aren’t you being racist against whites?). (See: The Last Airbender casting controversy.) http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/

    Well, I guess it’s a bit different with Asian people, because the common racist stereotype is OMG THOSE ASIANS THEY ARE ALL THE SAAAAAAAME LOLOLOL. Add to it the Japanese genocide on the continent, for which Japan hasn’t yet apologised… So, I can’t say I’m surprised by your Asian friends’ irritation.

    And the whitewashing in Airbender. There hasn’t been anything more… I mean, there are simply no words. It’s like the Ursula Le Guin/Earthsea fail all over again: http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Earthsea.html

    It’s saddening, though, that 5 years have passed and nothing has changed :\

  19. Liberty says:

    Wow. You are completely misinterpreting this.

    The reason Vogue painted a white model black is NOT because they didn’t want to hire a black model. Did you ever think that it could just be an artistic endeavor that has everything to do with creativity and playing with the imagination, and nothing to do with racism? It’s painfully obvious that she’s not African, that she’s a white girl with black makeup, and that’s the point. Fashion magazines are always coming up with edgy and unique concepts like this for their shoots. It would be no different if they painted a black model white. Or purple or green or polka dot, etc.

    • Did you ever think that it could just be an artistic endeavor that has everything to do with creativity and playing with the imagination, and nothing to do with racism?

      Yes, it did occur to me. Then I laughed. Then I thought: what a splendid excuse it would make for racist trolls.

      You’re so clueless I actually feel sorry for you. Congrats!

  20. pillowscrapbook says:

    I think that the art theory would stick if they had also painted a black model white. than there would seem to be a statement …

    about the actors thing… and the asians (i mean real Asian people or the 3rd, 4th generation of Americans, whose ancestors come form Asia?) complaining about miscasting. take Takeshi Kaneshiro – a major teenage heartthrob in China and Taiwan, a little less popular in Japan. the imdb says he is half Japanese half Chinese of Taiwanese origin … this is pure racism here and total bulls. he isn’t Japanese at all, he is half Ryukyuan – the Ryukyu Kingdom was forcefully assimilated to Japan in the 19th century, but some of it’s parts have been properly Japanese only since the 70s of the 20th century (due to the US occupation) – ergo saying that he is half Japanese is enforcing a nationalistic stereotype. and so is saying that he is Chinese. you can say that he is Han, most Taiwanese are Han, but definitely not Chinese – because that term is now associated with the Peoples Republic of China. And most Taiwanese people would feel very offended…but despite this he is very popular in all 3 countries and i really doubt that, for instance, the Taiwanese fangirls are outraged when he plays in a Japanese film – well at lest my Taiwanese friend isn’t.

    allowing this nonsense to spread the Spanish should have been offended when Stellan Skarsgård (Swedeish) played Goya…

    • I hate the “half/half” LANGUAGE on principle. Like you can tell anyway, which part of him is from where (‘so, my left leg is Chinese, but my right leg is Japanese, so don’t sometimes get along to well. This is why I tend to trip over things so often’). This is further taken to absurd when people say stuff like ‘I’m 1/8 Irish’ or whatever. NOOOO.

      Yeah, well, but they didn’t have to paint him, did they?

      Anyway, I only mostly get irritated when they 1) whitewash, 2) are racist arseholes, 3) get the languages wrong. The countries, just whatever (like, I normally hate TV stuff about people in uniforms on principle, BUT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cote_de_Pablo AND HER HEBREW WAS TOTALLY PERFECT ALSOSEXYSEXYSEXY. Um. Well. n__n.)

    • Ausir says:

      You do realize that Taiwan government is officially the Republic of China and considers itself the legitimate government of all China? Saying that people from Taiwan don’t consider themselves Chinese is a bit silly.

      • Um. Yes.
        I actually sort of didn’t know what Pillowscrapbook meant. Um. Because Han people are also the ethnic majority in continental China; basically, they’re the people who speak the Mandarin dialect.

        So >.>

      • pillowscrapbook says:

        You didn’t know what I meant because I rarely make sense… I sort of get lost when I try to make a point ^^!

        The half talk is indeed quite useless, but when you’re a star everyone wants a piece of you ;)

        Ausir: Yes I do and I also see where this statement is coming from. Also I think that the rhetoric of the Taiwanese government is a little more nuanced than that, but I’m not an expert. I think it is about the fact that Taiwan is what’s left of real Chinese culture – the communist party put a lot of effort into destroying that in mainland China. And they would probably loose this rhetoric if there were no more missiles constantly directed to the little island, enough of those not leave anyone alive… so no the Taiwanese don’t feel they are 中国人 Chinese – they like to say that they are 台灣人
        Taiwanese.

      • Ausir says:

        I wouldn’t really make such general statements. Some of them probably do feel they are Chinese, some no longer do.

  21. pillowscrapbook says:

    Yeah I’m sure some of them do feel Chinese, lets not be shy here, it might be even the majority. it is only this anti-globalist, leftist, anti-totalitarian sorry government, eco mob that writes about them feeling separate and quoting some biased referendums and statistics they have probably made up themselves. Because, logically speaking, everyone would like to be Chinese now, live in a police state where at least 80% of the population live in severe poverty and are exploited by others, where culture and tradition is twisted by the government to it’s nationalistic goals … It is OK that a nuclear super state points it missiles in a direction of a little island; also the Japanese are born to work all day and be exploited by their employers,that is how they need and like it; the Pashtun woman is worth nothing and can be killed at will it’s their culture after all; oh and the children in the Philippines need the money so it is right for the good foreign daddies to rape them…These are such delicate issues we need to be meek and relative and analyze every case separately.
    Back to Taiwan …
    That’s why so many people protested in front of the American embassy when it became clear that the Americans are no longer interested in supporting Taiwan’s case, since they can make soo much money together with the communist party of China. Or they were outraged that they weren’t allowed to carry their national flag at the opening ceremony of the last Olympics. That is also why when they go abroad they emphasize that they are Taiwanese not Chinese. But you are right this only applies to the Taiwanese people I’ve met and I’ve read about. Sorry for making a general statement and having a biased opinion. Also sorry for being angry here but you’ve pushed all the wrong buttons.

    • Ausir says:

      Hey, my point is only that some people from Taiwan do consider themselves Chinese, including a few I’ve talked to. And it’s not as if it’s impossible to consider oneself to be *both* Chinese and Taiwanese. Or as if “Chinese” means only “loyal to the Communist Party of China”. I think you’re fighting a strawman there, to be honest.

      And how about some statistics instead of just anecdotal evidence based on who met how many Taiwanese people claiming to be one or the other?

      From Wikipedia:

      In a poll released in December 2006 by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), 57% of people on Taiwan consider themselves to be Taiwanese. 23% Chinese and 20% both Chinese and Taiwanese (China Post, 2006).

      • pillowscrapbook says:

        How nice that you quote the statistics, alas not even the whole paragraph, so you only mention those that support your point of view. And culturally and ethnically speaking I have already admitted that they do consider themselves Han, they come from the same culture and tradition that the Chinese do, and yes identity issues in such cases are difficult. But we are talking here about a little country that is threatened by a super power that points it’s missiles at it. The people in Taiwan fear war, because they have no chance of winning it and the consequences would be dire – they still have free press there, they know what is going on in Tibet and Xinjiang. The thing is that we don’t know the exact questions and how the respondents understood it. Is the question about identity and culture or about nationality and political attitude (aka. do I want to live in a totalitarian country). The wiki commentary suggest the former, but I’m speaking, all this time, about the latter. If you look at this statistic more closely you will also notice that the issue of being Chinese or Taiwanese was minor as long as the communist China was weak and posed no real threat to the US supported, much richer Taiwan. And from what I seethe more China tires to cuddle them the less Chinese they feel.

        “Or as if “Chinese” means only “loyal to the Communist Party of China”.” it doesn’t, but it begins to have the new shiny meaning “to live in the communist China empire”

      • Ausir says:

        I don’t quote to the whole paragraph but I link to it. I don’t really get what your point is now. Mine is simply that, while the majority of Taiwanese people identify themselves as Taiwanese in recent years (although it’s still not an overwhelming majority to any extent), many continue to identify themselves as Chinese. And many those who don’t likely wouldn’t be offended at being called Chinese (especially given that Taiwan still uses the name Republic of China).

        I know people who identify themselves as Chinese but don’t identify in any way with the PRC. Just like if you, say, identify yourself as Korean, you can do it regardless of whether you’re from the free South Korea or the totalitarian North Korea.

        By the way, Instead of “Tibet and Xinjiang” I prefer saying “Tibet and East Turkestan” – why use the native name of one and the Chinese name of the other?

  22. ekolog says:

    This photo reminds me a similar attempt (but it get’s confusing) in Polish movie Vabank, in which Jacek Chmielnik plays a burglar and entertainer, and to entertain (if I remember correctly) he has face painted black.

    • Ausir says:

      Yeah, but the movie takes place in the 1930s, where blackface was prevalent.

    • I’ve never watched the film, but I’d agree with Ausir. I mean, modern viewer will feel it’s a bit (well, a lot) awkward, but it was a part of what the world looked like back in the 1930. Personally, I’d still not include stuff like that, just like the Jeeves& Wooster TV series doesn’t mention “Negro minstrels” although Wodehouse did. A lot.
      But well. Not the same level of WTF as painting a model black.

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