How Glamour Brazil sees us Asians. @glamourbrasil 🙄🙄🙄 Edicoes Globo Conde NASTY. Before posting slitty eye jokes, maybe you should educate yourselves that your salaries are (mostly) paid for by the same slitty-eyed ASIAN shoppers you mock who buy luxury goods from (mostly) white brands who advertise on your publication.
"We would like to apologize to those who have felt offended! We didn’t have that intention and really regret what happened," Glamour Brasil wrote in an apology post on Instagram.
Beyond editorial, er, oversights, there are far too many examples of the fashion industry really missing the mark when it comes to Asian stereotypes. Last year's Met Gala theme, "China: Through the Looking Glass," proved to be controversial to some; so was the event's red carpet sightings, which involved a number of looks replete with poppies, a flower that's darkly symbolic in Chinese culture for its connection to the 19th-century Opium Wars.
Retailers have made some very questionable calls about Asian-referencing garb, too. Two years ago, Topshop was criticized for this necklace (and its matching bracelet and earrings) featuring a string of Chinese mask charms that resemble racist anti-Chinese propaganda imagery from the late 1800s. In 2010, Dior's "Shanghai Dreamers" campaign did not go over so well, incensing some with the orientalist overtones of the imagery. Victoria's Secret's 2012 "Go East" collection also rubbed people the wrong way: One of the looks was even described as "Sexy Little Geisha." Back in 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch got blasted for selling racist T-shirts.
And beyond the fashion sphere, racism toward Asian cultures can crop up in the Hollywood casting process. Take, for example, the film version of Absolutely Fabulous, released this year. It featured a Scottish (female) actress playing an Asian (male) fashion designer, as comedian Margaret Cho lividly called out.
Granted, the convergence of ethnic background and style is rocky terrain. (Plus, the connection between cultural identity and one's personal relationship with fashion can be complicated, as this essay about having a wariness about "Asian" fashion trends proves.) Cultural appropriation is a topic that certainly, and unfortunately, has plenty of gray areas: What's offensive to one person might not raise a red flag to someone else. But Glamour Brasil's editors' racist photo opp is a pretty unequivocal misstep, and, quite frankly, they certainly should've known better.