Chinese photographer apologizes after backlash over Dior model’s ‘Western’ depiction

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HONG KONG – A Chinese fashion photographer has apologized after reacting to work done for French luxury brand Dior.

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The photo shows a tan, freckled model of Asian descent wearing traditional Chinese clothes while holding a black Lady Dior bag. It has been criticized for perpetuating Western stereotypes of East Asian faces and for failing to represent beauty standards in the region, which generally favor finer skin and bigger eyes.

The photo was removed from display at a Dior fashion exhibition in Shanghai in the wake of controversy.


Chain Man acknowledged the criticism of the picture as well as some of his earlier work.

“I have deeply reflected and blamed myself for my naivety and ignorance at the time. I feel like I should still formally apologize to everyone,” Chen said on social media earlier this week. Addressing the followers, he said.

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“I’m Chinese, born and raised, and I love my country very much,” she added in the post, which garnered reactions from thousands of users. ,

“I know that as an artist, I take responsibility for documenting and showcasing Chinese culture through my work. I will study more history and attend more relevant events to strengthen my ideologies ”

His apology follows sharp criticism from some netizens on Weibo, a social media platform in China similar to Twitter.

Many users expressed anger at what they saw as a high-profile visual representation of Chinese women who adopted the beauty standards of a different culture.

“Why do you want to pervert maliciously and Abuse China? This is because fashion circles are dominated by Westerners,” said one user, referring to the view that the Western lens promotes a traditional view of Chinese women that is different from local depictions of beauty.

Chen, the photographer, is well-known.

In 2019, Global Times, an English-language newspaper published by the Communist Party, described her as China’s answer to American photographer Annie Leibovitz, calling her a “shining star” with a unique perspective.

But he is also no stranger to controversies. She previously made headlines in 2012, when social media users similarly took issue with her portrayal of various Chinese ethnic minorities for the British fashion magazine ID.

China provides a huge market for luxury brands and could be poised to become the world’s largest luxury market by 2025. according to some estimates, But, while being attractive, it also presents challenges for Western companies.

Dior insisted that Chen’s photography was part of an art project for the company and “not a commercial advertisement for Dior.”

“Dior always respects the sentiments of the Chinese people while strictly adhering to Chinese law and regulation,” the French brand said in a statement on its Chinese social media account on Wednesday. “If a mistake occurs, we will receive feedback and take immediate action to correct it,” it said. “Dior is unbreakable Loyal to Chinese consumers and society. ,

Granthshala News has contacted Dyer for comment.

This is not Dior’s first time in the hot seat of China.

In 2019, a staff member in a company recruitment program country map used which did not include Taiwan. China views the self-governing island as part of its territory, but Taiwan has rejected this notion on several occasions.

And Dior isn’t the only Western brand facing such issues. Earlier this year several fashion companies including H&M, Nike and Burberry faced social media backlash and even boycotts over their stance on cotton produced in Xinjiang, home of the country’s Uighur Muslim minority.

Meanwhile, in 2018, Dolce & Gabbana sparked outrage with an ad instructing an Asian model to eat Italian food like spaghetti and pizza with a pair of chopsticks. The videos were later removed.

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