Racism in Fashion

Hello my loves!

Today, I’m following suit with another one of what’s occurring in the media. I was scrolling through Twitter (my addiction that I should really give up on but… to no avail) and came across the picture:

Anthony Anaxagorou, “This is not fashion, this is fetishising and commodifying racial abuse.” Facebook.com

Now, if you’re not aware, in the left photo is a picture of an African American male who was a slave. What’s around his mouth is a muzzle that slave owners put on them in order to prevent them from eating corn when they were working in the corn fields.

In the photo on the right is of a runway show done by Adriana Degreas one year ago. From the image shown above, it was a woman with a muzzle on.

Obviously this caused controversy. Me as an African American female, I was beyond outraged. This is like a spinoff of my Marc Jacobs post. You have something that was used in African American culture taken, depraved, and is used with the subtext “fashion”. Fashion is such a unique aspect to humans. Clothes can make anyone feel a certain kind of way because it defines them. So to have this on an outfit and to be derived as fashion is sickening.

This is a torture tool. This is something that is not at all seen in a good way other than corn not going to waste because the slaves picking it won’t eat it.

But of course before I came on here to rant about my latest findings, I looked this up (like the good reporter I am). I came across a petition made my Tanya Allison saying: “Adriana Degreas Racist Potrayal Of Black Slaves In Her Runway Fashion Show” (You can find the link at the bottom of my post) She was seeking supporters to, I believe, agree that Degreas was being racist in her runway.

Doing some reading though, I come across the excerpt:

The Adriana Degreas brand does not promote, endorse or accept any racist or any other discriminatory practice or bias regarding gender, race or religious belief.

The Collection was created in homage to the Brazilian state of Bahia, particularly to honor the culture of the women from Bahia.

The particular image that has created distress (only outside of Brazil) is that of a Saint called Escrava Anastácia, a very important religious figure in Brazil, both for Catholics and Umbanda (Afro-Brazilian religion) practitioners.

Escrava Anastácia’s figure is always represented as such (with the horrible muzzle collar) and she is known in Brazil as symbol for women’s strenght, resilience and the struggle for freedom. As many other Saints in Catholicism, she is depicted in a situation of martyrdom.

Of course, after reading this it made me feel guilty about my sudden association. With society nowadays, we are so quick to judge everything and make it a racial problem. I’m not condoning this whatsoever but it’s necessary to know the reasons behind something before judging it completely.


But I will once again get off my soapbox and leave it at that. Until next time my loves.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s