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Racism in “Vogue”?

Racism in "Vogue"?


Jossip posted this very incriminating comparison between “The Shape Issue” of Vogue magazine and a WWI era poster.

Its difficult to believe this was completely accidental.

Says Jossip:

It’s hard to imagine Wintour or Leibovitz, or their staffs, in all their years studying photos and imagery, never came across this poster, or understood its racial ramifications with the ape carrying the helpless Lady Liberty. They understood it well enough to put Gisele in an eerily similar dress.


As noted by my uncle, a History professor and newspaper columnist:

I think it is canny rather than uncanny — the parallel is deliberate, the discovery expected, and the fact that it’s an anti-German image may be another intentional twist. It could even be said that it is kind of racist to assume that every portrayal of a human as an ape must be a reference to the African race. In the 19th century U.S., the Irish were also often hatefully caricatured as having simian features. Still, it is an African American sports star that is made to look like a mad ape on the cover — Jossip’s point still holds.

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Oh yeah and forgot to say, I think the picture is hot even with all of that backstory. Really. Its the first Vogue magazine I’ve bought in at least 2 years.


It is part of the collective white unconscious. Whites have been petrified of black male sexuality and have tried to characterize it as savage in attempts to negate it. Problem is, black male sexuality is provocative and white women back then and now are drawn to black men. The picture would have believe the opposite, that black men are running after white women because its a more comfortable pill to swallow.

Jess has written a lot about this as well.

There’s lots to be said about the cover, but I think this is more amusing to discuss:

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