A photo shoot featuring a white model as a geisha? In the so-called “diversity” issue, no less.
The much-hyped March issue of Vogue features supermodel Karlie Kloss in a Japanese-themed spread, titled “Spirited Away.” Okay, can we just stop right there? Red flags, so many red flags going up everywhere. Let’s be real: there was no fucking way that Vogue was going to handle this right.
The spread, photographed in features Kloss in what is pretty much yellowface, going full geisha in various photos shot around Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park. They’ve got Kloss in thick black hair, pale skin and kimono-like attire, posed in various Japanese-y backgrounds.
There’s even a friggin’ sumo wrestler for bonus stereotypical Japaneseness.
Between the yellowface and cultural appropriation, Vogue is apparently stuck in some white dude’s movie version of Japan, treading a well-worn path of old-ass orientalism and tired, stereotypical visuals.
What is so creative about a white lady in yellowface, standing in front of the usual traditional Japanese shit?
On top of all that, Vogue has been touting this issue as a supposed celebration of diversity and inclusion, featuring seven models of different ethnic backgrounds on the cover.
A 2017 real Japanese looks more like this:
Kind of a silly, pointless celebration if you’re going to turn the page and find this yellowface geishapalooza inside.
And did nobody even consider hiring an actual Asian model?
So much for that “diversity” nonsense. FAIL!