Wednesday, March 26
LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen-Vogue-cover
Recently (I believe it was the April issue), LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen were the cover models for Vogue magazine. I remember when this cover came out because it was somewhat groundbreaking since it was only the third cover to feature a man, the other two men featured being Richard Gere and George Clooney. I remember thinking to myself that it was pretty cool that a black man was on the cover (considering this magazine has more of a white readership and I would venture to say mostly women) and also that he was an athlete, not an actor or a model. The issue of the magazine was a "Shape Issue" with "Secrets of the Best Bodies: LeBron & Giselle and The Worlds Top Models and Star Athletes" being the cover story. I didnt think much of it until people started getting pissed that it was racist.
So I took another look and apparantly the problem is that LeBron is remniscent of King Kong while Giselle plays Fay Wray, the damsel in distress. That would have never crossed my mind, but having that pointed out, I can see the similarities. But to me it shows a strong, powerful, perhaps dangerous black man with a dainty, beautiful smiling happy women. She really doesnt look like she is in much distress to me and the guy is a professional athlete, it would make sense that he has an intense persona, plus he is actually dribbling a basketball in the shot.
What people have been complaining about though is that is racist. I didn't see any complaints that it is sexist because a woman is being "possessed" by a man, even though it is racist for the same exact reason, which I found interesting. I think that to most people it shows a two rich and recognizable celebrities with good bodies. I think it would have been more effective and better for women if they had reversed this and showed the body of a female athlete with the male model but its a high fashion womens magazine, female athletes arent the ideal.
A black journalist wrote an article that made a good point that the people who get mad that this portrayal of negative stereotypes are also the same people who laugh at Tyler Perry's portrayal of " a single mama with three baby daddies, her loud-mouthed, weed-smoking, gun-toting Latino best girlfriend, a deadbeat daddy, a drunk sister and a deceased father who was a pimp-turned-preacher" in his recent movie. I suppose it is all dependent on the source. The comedy is written and produced by a black man while almost certainly the photographer and editors of Vogue are white.
I really don't have a main point with all of this, I just find the discussion intriguing and would be interested in hearing what other people think.
Posted by Lulu at 3:05 PM