Fancy going to the lengths of dedicating an entire issue to diversity, only to foolishly commit one of the greatest crimes to diversity and cultural appropriation of all?
Like any good ‘progressive’ fashion mag that is trying to sell their industry as one that isn’t all about the size zero, white, blonde women, Vogue decided it’s time to catch up. Diversity! It’s totally… in vogue… isn’t it?
Alas, it all would’ve been well and good if someone at Team Vogue thought it clever to clear up the definition of diversity before using it as a theme for an entire month’s issue.
First, readers spotted that cover model Gigi Hadid’s arm seemed to be a little bit – how do you say – very much digitally altered?
Promptly, fans recovered (it's certainly not the first time they've seen photoshop on the pages of Vogue) and turned the page.
And there, front and centre, is a confirmed non-Japanese geisha, Karlie Kloss, posing as just that: a very much Japanese geisha.
Shot by Mikael Jansson and styled by Phyllis Posnick in Japan's Ise-Shima National Park, "Spirited Away" features Kloss, a white American, doing a variety of cultural (yay!) things. Kloss is seen posing with a sumo wrestler and carrying a bunch of cherry blossoms among a whole host of confusing things that I can't quite be bothered unpacking.
Because nothing says diversity like having zero Japanese people credited in the creative direction of the shoot. Or, you know, not using an actual Japanese model in it, either.
It is a tone-deaf fashion editorial of the highest order, not least in an edition that actually sought to encourage diversity of bodies and models.
Because employing someone of that culture to fill the editorial pages would be just a little bit too diverse, wouldn't it?
I have, maybe, three questions:
Who signed off on this?
Oh, and who signed off on this?
How about we talk about actual diversity? The Binge interviewed Miranda Tapsell about the need for diversity on Australian television and her struggle to get work as an indigenous actress.