Last week, Vogue dropped their March cover. March used to be The Power Issue, do you remember that? Or was it The Shape Issue? Something like that. But nowadays, Vogue’s March issue is being called The Diversity Issue. The cover featured several models of color, including Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti. While I found the cover bland as hell, I gave a slow clap to Anna Wintour for at least doing the bare minimum for racial inclusion/diversity.
But I’m going to have to take back my slow clap. The March issue of Vogue features a six-page editorial with Karlie Kloss, one of Wintour’s favorite models. The issue is not that Kloss got another major Vogue editorial. The issue isn’t even that The Diversity Issue only gave models of color like Imaan Hammam and Liu Wen one photo each while giving Bland Becky Karlie Kloss a six-page editorial. No, the issue is that Vogue dressed up Karlie like a Japanese geisha. Because why not? WHY NOT DO YELLOWFACE?
Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson, and Tilda Swinton turn to Karlie Kloss. “Your turn, girl.”
Karlie on phone: “Hello, Vogue? Make me Asian.” pic.twitter.com/zgUWIB022Q
— Ira Madison III (@ira) February 14, 2017
For real, Vogue? A photo shoot featuring Karlie Kloss as a geisha? In the so-called “diversity” issue, no less. https://t.co/bgpKXHw35N
— Angry Asian Man (@angryasianman) February 15, 2017
I first saw the story yesterday, and I suspect that’s because people got their hands on the actual magazine (as opposed to this editorial being featured online, which it is not). That’s when all hell broke loose and people started yelling at Vogue and Karlie Kloss online. Late last night/early this morning, Karlie issued this statement:
— Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) February 15, 2017
While I appreciate her apology, this is not merely an issue of “cultural sensitivity.” This is racist. Use the right word. It’s racist when a white person does blackface, and it’s racist when a white person pretends to be Japanese. I don’t believe that Kloss should be the only one getting slammed for this – she went along with a sh-tty editorial concept and shame on her. But Jesus Christ, Vogue. STOP.