Tag Archives: Daria Werbowy

Is This Photo Racist?

STEPHON JOHNSON: It comes around every year: a potentially racially-charged photo spread in a fashion magazine. But it doesn’t make Interview’s spread any less worthy of discussion.

AKIE BERMISS: Shock value — that’s all it comes down to. I don’t know anything about fashion or photography, but I do know about shock value. I do know about the social mores of the 20th and 21st centuries in America. I do know about the objectification of women and the theoretical hyper-masculinity of the black man. How one is the embodiment of purity, innocence, and beauty and the other is the paradigm of savagery, carnality, and evil. And that even when that innocence or purity is somewhat sarcastic (or, over the top, if you will) and even when that beauty is not really all that beautiful, and even when the savagery and the evil are meant to seem dangerously seductive — I know that the basic morality play is the same. This (good) versus that (bad). And who can resist so compelling a dichotomy?
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