Society

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Sparks Controversy

| by Michael Doherty

A Victoria's Secret fashion show featuring Lady Gaga, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid has been accused of insensitive cultural appropriation.

Cosmopolitan magazine called "The Road Ahead," the show's opening segment featuring Jenner and Hadid, a "brazen attempt to re-label what is clearly cultural appropriation," calling out the segment's use of materials and designs inspired by cultures from around the world, according to Heatstreet.

Writer Helin Jung described the lingerie show as "a hack job" that took parts of various cultures.

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"The brand and its creative leads shamelessly cherry-picked imagery, breaking apart aesthetic references from wherever they wanted and stitching them back together again," wrote Jung in her Cosmo piece on the show. "They're telling us it's worldliness. It's not, it's a hack job."

Model Martha Hunt, reportedly spoke about her look in a behind-the-scenes video for Vogue, describing it as "like Pocahontas meets Jasmine and they're going bull-riding."

Jung called the show's use of Asian fabrics and themes "Orientalist," saying that the show did not attempt to create a dialogue. "What condescension," she wrote," for Victoria's Secret to think that by wrapping a model in a dragon, it could connect directly with a new customer in China."

One of the looks that Jung referenced was a large red dragon worn by Elsa Hook, who also wore red stiletto boots.

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Users on Twitter responded to Jung's article, telling Cosmo to "lighten up," and saying that the show was not racist.

"Narrative that this is racism is a serious issue and distracts from real racism," said one user.

"Remember when people thought multiculturalism was a good thing? Now it's 'cultural appropriation' and apparently racist," tweeted another user.

Victoria's Secret has not yet responded to the claims of racism in their show.

Sources: Heatstreet, Cosmopolitan, Twitter / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Getty via Cosmopolitan

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