offensive or no?

Upon reading the headline of the article my mom emailed me, I was all set to be very offended by these photos.  After reading it and seeing the pics, I am not offended.  Is that bad?  When I read “blackface” I think poorly applied shoe polish and outrageously red lipstick.  When I saw these pictures and read Schiffer’s statement that they were playing with different men’s fantasies, I thought it made sense.  Lagerfeld and Dom Perignon hired one super Supermodel to play two characters (for lack of a better analogy).  To me this is not offensive.  I don’t think Schiffer kept a black model from working that day.  What if Naomi Campbell had done the ad in “whiteface”?  Would that be offensive?  I also wonder if Heidi Klum would have agreed to participate in this.  I would love to get her take on it.

Claudia Schiffer strikes controversial pose in ‘blackface’ for German magazine


Claudia Schiffer is drawing criticism for her controversial photo on a German magazine cover.

Claudia Schiffer is one of the world’s best-loved supermodels, but she’s drawing a firestorm of criticism for her latest magazine cover.

The blond stunner is at the center of a racially-charged controversy after a photo of her in “blackface” hit the Internet this month.

In the photo, which was shot by Karl Lagerfeld two years ago as part of an ad campaign for Dom Perignon, Schiffer is disguised in an Afro wig and dark face paint, prompting accusations of insensitivity.

“It shows poor taste and it’s offensive,” Shevelle Rhule, fashion editor at black lifestyle magazine Pride, told U.K.’s Daily Mail. “There are not enough women of color featured in mainstream magazines. This just suggests you can counteract the problem by using white models.”

The photo resurfaced when German magazine Stern Fotografie repurposed the image as one of six hardback covers for its 60th anniversary issue.

The other covers also feature Schiffer in various costumed looks shot by Lagerfeld – as a sexy secretary, a leather-clad cop, Marie Antoinette, and even an Asian woman in a kimono.

Schiffer’s rep defended the series, saying, “The pictures have been taken out of context. The images were designed to reflect different men’s fantasies. The pictures were not intended to offend.

The sexy shots of Schiffer are drawing serious criticism from those who think the makeup choice was offensive.

Read more HERE

3 thoughts on “offensive or no?

  1. I wanted to myself, but I somehow don’t find this offensive. Tyra Banks did this same thing on ANTM and no one put up a fuss…I didn’t find that offensive either. I would call this art.

  2. To me, “blackface” is the exaggerated, cartoonish (and offensive) stage makeup that was used in the old minstrel shows. I agree with you–I don’t think that description applies here. Schiffer looks beautiful and these are fashion photos which can be viewed as an art form. Since all the photos are exclusively of her, it wouldn’t have made sense to bring in another model just for that particular photo.

    However, the French version of Vogue magazine did come under fire, and rightfully so, last year for their Black issue where they used white models in dark makeup when they could have used real models of color. I think it’s good for everyone to show sensitivity to issues like this, but it’s also good to examine what’s going on before we react to it.

  3. Interesting piece, and comments too. I tend to agree. I am automatically suspicious of this sort of things, but in this case, I guess not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s