After French luxury fashion brand Luxe, a Chinese photographer apologized DiorA high-profile photograph of an Asian model was taken out after complaints that she didn’t conform to Western standards and stereotypes.
“Dior, as always, respects the sentiments of the Chinese people … If you make any mistakes, [Dior] must be open to receiving feedback and correct them in time,” the fashion house wrote on its Weibo account Wednesday, the BBC reported.
According to the company statement, Chen Man’s famous Chinese photographer Chen Man had created this image as an art piece that was displayed at A. Lady Dior exhibition in ShanghaiThis was an illustration and not meant to be advertised. Following the chaos the photograph was removed and the exhibition closed Wednesday.
Chen apologizedShe shared the work she did this week via her social media accounts, but didn’t mention Dior.
“I blame myself for my immaturity and ignorance” in my past works, Chen, 41, wrote on Weibo. “I think that I must … formally apologize to everyone.”
Critics erupted on social media after the photo appeared in the exhibit early this month, saying the model — who appears in traditional dress holding a black Dior handbag — lacked the fair skin and larger eyes popular with the Chinese.
The Beijing Daily described the model as having a “gloomy face” and small, “sinister eyes.”
“For years, Asian women have always appeared with small eyes and freckles from the Western perspective,” said the editorial. “The photographer is playing up to the brands, or the aesthetic tastes of the western world.”
China Women’s News said that the image of the model with “swollen single eyelids” made people “uncomfortable.” Dior exposed its intention of “uglifying Chinese women,” it claimed.
However, others supported the photo and urged a broader acceptanceA variety of Chinese beauty.
One Weibo user asked: “Why can’t a Chinese woman with small eyes also be considered beautiful? I don’t see any problem with this.”
The uproar over the photo re-triggered criticism about Chen’s earlier work, including “Young Pioneers,” a series of photos in 2008 of a young model in different scenes, some with backdrops of major China landmarks.
The state-owned Global Times newspaper reported that critics on social media had called that work “implicit child pornography” that insulted the Young Pioneers, the name of a Communist Party-affiliated youth organization.
Chen noted in her apology: “I was born and raised in China. It is a country I love dearly. As an artist, I’m totally aware of my responsibility to document Chinese culture and showcase Chinese beauty through my work.”
She added: “I will educate myself on Chinese history, attend more relevant events, and improve my ideologies … I will strive to tell China’s story right through my work.”