China’s communist mouthpiece strongly criticized a global fashion label for depicting a model whose skin was too dark.
The Beijing Daily targeted Christian Dior for depicting a darkly tanned Chinese model, wearing traditional attire and carrying a Lady Dior bag. State-run media claimed the individual had a “gloomy face” and “sinister eyes.”
China Women’s News chimed in that the female model had “droopy single eyelids” and “greasy hair,” according to SupChina.
“In the wake of Dior’s ‘hell-ish’ photo, it is safe to say that some Western brands still hold a certain degree of ‘pride and prejudice’ against Chinese people and culture,” author Jiayun Feng said according to the publication.
The normally pro-Beijing Global Times then criticized state-run media remarks as a clear example of discrimination.
French fashion brand #Dior continued to face a lingering controversy on Chinese social media over a recent photo accused of smearing the image of #Chinese women, with some Chinese netizens demanding an explanation from @Dior as well as the photographer. https://t.co/N7KEiXVSEp pic.twitter.com/0w05fnmF3B— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) November 17, 2021
Dior quickly succumbed to diplomatic pressure, and removed the photo from a Shanghai exhibition and its social media accounts.
“Dior, as always, respects the sentiments of the Chinese people,” a representative said according to Breitbart. “If any errors happen [Dior] must be open to receiving feedback and correct them in time.”
Responsible photographer Chen Man also backed down, and promised to “educate herself” on China’s history and improve her “ideologies.”
Designers, advertisers, and others who refer to China were previously pressured into depicting the mainland in a “confident” and “positive” light. Many of them have also been forced to remove images of people of African descent, or other races that fail to meet Chinese Communist Party (CCP) standards.
Actor John Boyega, who played Finn in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” was pulled from the promotional poster to appease the CCP. Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron and Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata, were similarly removed from promotional graphics.
“Typical standards of beauty in China … are often characterized by fair skin and large eyes,” Breitbart author Gabrielle Reyes reported.
The CCP controversially permitted a 2016 commercial for local detergent maker Qiaobi depicted a black man being “bleached.”
The regime also relentlessly persecuted Uighur native people, a policy that multiple democratic countries condemned as cultural genocide. The United Nations separately condemned the CCP for organ harvesting peaceful Falun Dafa adherents.