There are people who are creative and have some class in their work and then there are also people who come up with tasteless stuff just to get noticed. Aamna Aqeel a Pakistani designer, who has been designing clothes for only about two years probably requires a little more attention and unfortunately falls into the latter category.
‘Be My Slave’ is Aamna’s latest fashion shoot that has sparked a racially charged backlash not only in Pakistan but internationally as well.
The racist fashion shoot published in Diva Magazine, features a dark skinned young boy who apparently is a slave, catering a fair model, who is wearing Aqeel’s clothes.
Huffington Post writesabout the post:
Since when did slavery become an appropriate marketing strategy? We're shocked--as anyone who lays eyes on these images should be. And thankfully we're not alone.
Well, if Aqeel wanted everyone’s attention then she actually has achieved it, which in all honesty is the most tasteless way of being in the news. No one with morality would ever use slavery as a marketing tactic.
Not much to our surprise, when questioned, Aqeel denied any racism in the shoot and said that her aim was to shed light on the issue of child labor.
Salima Feerasta of the Tribune writesabout why her explanation is inappropriate:
It’s facetious of the designer to claim that she was trying to stimulate a debate on child labor. The model wearing her clothes is clearly comfortable with her dominant position. She is not made up in a way that shows her to be the villain of the piece. The use of a dark skinned child in a shoot entitled “Be My Slave” certainly reeks of racism, however much the designer may deny it. And if anything, the shoot seems to condone child labor.
A comment on the photo shoot states:
Thought provoking? Have you people gone mad? She’s selling CLOTHES by using a shocking and abhorrent form of “expression.” What’s worse is that she is USING what appears to be a BLACK child as her pawn. How exactly is she commenting on “her” society? This is absolutely defenseless and the stupidest form of advertisement I have ever seen in my life.
What makes this photo shoot hopeless is the fact that bonded slavery and racism are one of the biggest and real problems of Pakistan. There are a lot of organizations trying their best to at least eliminate child labor and slavery from the Pakistani society but Aqeel has used this social issue as a way to market her products and to gain publicity which is ethically and morally wrong, no matter where it happens the world.
These attention seeking (racist) tactics are not new to fashion industry. Multiple controversial slave inspired designs and blatant display of racism has been witnessed before as well.
After witnessing these hopeless fashion shoots one wonders if the fashion industry is ever going to stop using these distasteful shoots to gain media attention and publicity and will these attention seeking antics ever end. What do you think? Let us know with your comments.
You can see the rest of the photo shoot over here.