What’s Behind China’s ‘Slanted-Eye’ Outrage & How to Avoid It
Online consumer boycotts accusing brands of disrespecting Chinese people by showing models with “slanted eyes” are overwhelming social media. From Dior, Mercedes-Benz, and Gucci to Made-in-China companies, international and domestic brands have gotten reprimanded on the subject by nationalist consumers over recent months.
Moving forward, brands will have to confront a hard truth: Chinese consumers are increasingly aware of racial representation issues on the global stage, and they are demanding greater cultural awareness about how they appear to the world.
Last year, Asian model eye shapes caused China’s biggest luxury brand scandals. In November, netizens spotted a photo of a model with small eyes and spooky makeup from a 2012 Dior exhibition and quickly accused the brand of using an Asian stereotype to insult China. The photographer, Chen Man, later apologized for her “immaturity and ignorance” at the time of the shoot, and Dior issued a statement saying they do, in fact, “respect the feelings of the Chinese people.”
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