Oh, to be the genius mind behind the creative brief that resulted in this disastrous Diesel launch ad! Featuring a pale, tattooed model wearing a burqa fashioned out of denim, the brand’s latest ad rivals Lady Gaga for most moronic misappropriation of cultural garb. If you look closely enough, there’s even a “Beauty is only skin deep”-esque one-liner so obtuse that the copywriter on the job must’ve been studying the artist Jenny Holzer’s most notable works in a bid to create something equally memorable and provocative.
Well done, everyone!
Over at MTV Desi, Shruti Parekh lays it out for you.
The issue with this image starts at cultural appropriation, but goes much deeper. On the most basic level, the ad appropriates the burqa and puts it on a white woman in a socio-political context rife with Islamophobia and attacks on the Muslim world. Now, the burqa is a loaded item and has come to mean so many things to both Muslims and non-Muslims in our age of Islamophobia and sensationalist news. While the issue is complex, the agency and experience of Muslim women who wear the burqa must be respected. And Muslim women who wear the burqa in the West have had to deal with everything from discriminatory banning laws in Europe to racist slurs and hate crimes.
Take that, Diesel.