Friday, July 4, 2008

Britain's Next Top Model is Down with Colonial Chic



Background: This is one of the images from a challenge shoot on Britain's version of "America's Next Top Model." Apparently, the women went to South Africa and had a photo shoot with Zulu dancers. The rest of the photos can be seen here.

Looking at these photos (the type of which I have literally seen in fashion a hundred times before) makes me sick. Really, I am really disgusted by the persistence of this type of exploitative imagery in fashion. It really boggles my mind that for some people, the first thing that pops into their mind when seeing any African person in traditional dress is "Wow, that thing would make a great prop for my photo." There is no such thing as subtle contrast in that photographer's eye, there is only, "wouldn't it look cool to have a white woman in expensive clothes standing in front of black Africans? I mean, they're so savage and dangerous but she is so in control!" Honestly, I think it borders on pornographic. 

5 comments:

Tearsa "Lovely" Smith said...

I think what bothers me (on top of your comments -- cause they are valid) is the lack of artistic originality or creative push. Can their treatment of these photos be anymore EASY? What about of the the models in Zulu inspired fashion where the model has to work and push to make herself stand out? Or what about a model using the Zulu man as a love interest? That's pushing the line.. That's why magazines don't sell like they used to -- they are predictable!

socialitedreams said...

i completely agree with you and Tearsa...what a crock and so unoriginal

http://socialitedreams.wordpress.com

Brigitte said...

I totally agree with you Tearsa. There are many high end designers in SA. It would have been just as easy to put these would be models in some clothes designed by locals instead of going the posing with natives route...again.

sdg1844 said...

Great points Tearsa. I was just sighing over the lack of imagination and vision in most photo shoots. There is no global vision of the world at all. It's the constant "Heart Of Darkness" scenario.

Tiresome indeed.

asianwindow said...

Brigitte: totally agree with your views, but isn't fashion a lot about stereotyping? The piece in Vogue is just bad taste, the pornography of poverty. Namita (AW)