A new editorial featuring Daria Werbowy called “Let’s Get Lost” in Interview Magazine has fashion website Refinery 29 website crying racism:
Writer Connie Wang says, “From the differences in their dress (Daria’s in ethereal, angel-like gowns, the others are in knits and leathers) to their body language (A limp yet super-sexual Daria is the main focus, the others feel almost like props), the whole spread has a rather racist vibe that we can’t get down with despite the gorgeous art direction of the spread.”
Hmm. I can see how Connie would take issue with Daria’s placement in the midst of a black crowd, but I don’t think racist is quite the word. Racism would assume the photographers and stylists were trying to portray something negative about the black ‘props’ in the background. Though Daria is a bit better dressed than the rest of the bunch, she actually gets the raw end of the deal with her strung out stare and powerless poses.
While she looks drugged out and ‘lost,’ everyone else looks in control–perhaps even in control of her.
Instead of Daria being carried away à la Gisele and Lebron, she almost seems to be asking and yearning for the black man’s attention. Despite her desperate efforts, it’s clear: it’s their party and she’s just the girl who wandered in and slumped backwards over the side of a car, legs ajar.
Daria is the ‘main girl’ in the feature, but that’s about as far as it goes. The differences in skin color are only used for artistic contrast–to beautiful effect.
Racism presumes that one race is superior to another, but I don’t see Daria as superior to anyone in the crowd–she just happens to be the only white girl in the room.
What do you think?
*See more pictures and read Connie’s thoughts here.
*See another black and white contrast with Gisele Bundchen and some very chiseled men here.