Is Vogue’s April 2008 cover Racist?
In Vogue’s history (over 100 years) this is the first time a black man is featured on the cover. Gisele Bundchen and LeBron James are at the center of a controversy. Some have compared the pic to a King Kong clutching a white woman and the teeth baring look on LeBron demeaning. I can see both sides of this argument. On one side big deal, “races” have been mixing and the fact that Gisele is from Brazil is interesting since Brazil (like America) has a long, and at times, somewhat unpleasant history of inter-racial relations. On the other hand it is insulting, why would he be clutching her like that in that setting, wearing that!
Vogue has waited all this time and this is what we get?
Not to discount LeBron’s fabulousness BUT… there have been countless black men that have been “on top of their game” and not featured. What’s so different about April 2008? It’s the only time in history that there is a big potential we’ll have our first black presidential nominee. Interesting timing to say the least. But I’d hate to think that…
Maybe the goal was to present Gisele in a different way? We see her everywhere, I even opened up Money Magazine and there she was! By the way, you’ll be relieved to know that she doesn’t demand Euros as was rumoured!
Chances are good that famed photog Annie Liebovitz wanted to do something different that we’d stop and notice, if that was the goal it worked.
Is it racist?
On first glance YES! what’s so fashionable about a b-ball uniform? maybe it’s just fashionable to be photographed with a light woman? It’s hard to say, we just don’t know if the people at Vogue did this intentionally to stir up publicity. Or perhaps they are so out of touch with reality that they don’t understand that real people don’t like to look at caricatures. I hate to blanket the whole thing with “racist” because we just don’t know what went on behind the scenes.
Tags: 2008, American, April, Basketball, Brazilian, cover shoot, Gisele Bundchen, LeBron James, magazine, Vogue, vogue magazine