You would think Victoria’s Secret would’ve gotten the message loud and clear that cultural appropriation is never okay, particularly when used to sell underwear, after being forced to pull their so-called ‘Sexy Little Geisha’ outfit amid outrage that the costume trivialized the complex history of Japanese geisha, and reduced an entire culture to a sexual stereotype.
You would think following the controversy surrounding Lana del Rey donning a Native American headdress in a music video, or the more recent outrage over No Doubt similarly misrepresenting Native American culture in a music video that the group ultimately decided to pull, Victoria’s Secret would pass on the whole ‘Let’s reduce entire cultures to sexy little anythings,’ thing.
You would think, but you would be wrong. Against the backdrop of a historically significant presidential election, one that also saw same sex couples get one step closer to receiving full marriage equality in this country, Victoria’s Secret decided take us all a few regressive steps backward, and outfit model Karlie Kloss in the above Native American ‘costume’ for their annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Poor Karlie just can’t catch a break when it comes to controversy, can she? (And for the record, I’m actually a fan of hers.)
Even though the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was filmed yesterday (Nov 7), the show won’t be televised until December 4th, so we’ll have to ‘wait and see’ how reaction to this plays out. But in the days of instant internet gratification, and pictures like the above already being posted online, I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long.