Upscale fashion label Dior has come under fire after a recent Instagram post. Users were quick to accuse them of racial insensitivity
The official Dior Instagram page published a photo of a model posing with a slanted-eye gesture, before quickly removing it. The photo formed part of a series of marketing photos for the company's new beauty line earlier this week.
The caption of the post read, "Channel your feline fierceness," and the image depicted the model pulling up the corner of her eye.
Later, it was republished by users on Chinese social media sites, where it drew outrage and became the subject of the trending hashtag "Dior makeup advertisement accused of discriminating against Asians" on Weibo.
“You insulted Asians, not once or twice, and I think you should apologize,” one comment read.
"The brand has never literally apologized for its misconduct, and the public connivance would only make it worse," read another comment on the Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo.
“You have been through this racist scandal before, why do you have to do it again?” one commenter wrote. “If you are thinking about using these racist pictures to increase your brand exposure in the Asian market, I am really disappointed. You are what, white privileged marketing team?”
It is not the first time the French fashion house has been entwined in controversy.
Chinese photographer Chen Man's image from a Shanghai fashion show stirred debate in 2021 because it was allegedly derogatory to Asian women and catered to Western aesthetics. Both Dior and the photographer expressed regret in reaction to the criticism, with Dior saying, "We highly value people's opinions, respect Chinese people's feelings, and strictly follow Chinese laws and regulations."
Without specifying the source of inspiration, Chinese Hanfu (traditional Chinese costume) enthusiasts claimed in July that the brand had copied the design of a traditional Chinese horse face skirt in its fall 2022 collection. Chinese nationals living abroad were among the first to join demonstrations against Dior's "cultural appropriation."
Thus, this latest "slanted eye" stance infuriated Chinese netizens once more, and many of them called for a boycott of the brand because they believed that the company's continued failure to show cultural sensitivity towards Asians would not improve.
On the Chinese version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, a user wrote, "The brand has never actually apologized for its misconduct, and the public connivance would only make it worse."
Many online users referred to Dior as a "recidivist," encouraging the country's famous brand ambassadors to cut relations with the company.
The topic "Dior makeup advertisement suspected of discriminating against Asians" had approximately four million views as of the time of publication.
An editorial calling for the company to make a public apology was published on Wednesday by the media outlet Global Times, which is supported by the Chinese government. So far there has been no apology released.
Edited by Yasmin Hailes
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