Fashion Fridays: Recap of Miroslava Duma Apology for Racist Depiction

“Miroslava Duma Apologizes for Racist Photograph, Sorta | Fashionista”

Read about this earlier this week. Argh, where shall I start? I don’t like the picture, let’s start there. If the chair were used as an art piece in an exhibition or an article entitled “DisparateTreatment of Women” with no one sitting on it and it told a story of all women being seen in that light despite their professional titles and accolades and the chair was used as a symbol showing that despite how far we have come there is still a gap in our earnings and we are literally being #!@$+, then maybe the chair would sit well with me. But, here the pic just sends all types of messages of how we are seen and how they see themselves, right or wrong? Let’s flip the script. Let’s say a black woman were seated atop a white woman clothed the same would people take offense? Hard to say, might not get as much of a rise. Perhaps in that instance the focus would be more about the depiction of the woman then the actual race issue. It is interesting how history can mold our thought process to see one scenario as more inflammatory than the next and rightfully so.

Second scenario, suppose the same woman were seated atop a white woman…would white women be up in arms, would all women be up in arms simply because of how a woman has been presented? May get a totally different reaction in the second scenario.

I don’t know what the answer is definitively in each situation, but for this instance I do agree with Fashionista that the context was all wrong. Take that same chair in this third scenario and do a spread with it where Rihanna sits atop and it might be loved by the masses. Context is everything. What’s the message you are trying to send, if the message is that white is demure and black is edgy or worse trashy, well stick with your message don’t back pedal, although I strongly disagree with the picture. I think anyone taking such a photograph would have known the message you were sending, especially since you published it on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Don’t play the innocent role. These magazines love to get a rise out of us, lightening our skin, air brushing, now sitting on top of us. Whatever, it doesn’t get a rise from me, I am actually not that surprised, come on you can come with something stronger than that. As black women, we have seen many depictions of us and been called many things, by white men and women as well as our counterparts, both negative and positive. I don’t condone the picture or being depicted in such a light but I hope you see the irony in how they make money off of our backs.

Fashion is drama, this is one of it’s truest forms! I laugh it off, you are going to have to come harder than that to make us flinch. What do you think, art or racist?

Fashionably Not Surprised,
Danalee Francesca

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