Controversy Over Miranda Kerr’s Vogue Japan Photoshoot: Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation

 

Miranda Kerr is certainly no stranger to Japan. This time last year, the 31-year-old Australian model attracted quite a bit of attention for her odd, Japanese detergent commercials. Well it looks like she’s back and this time, she’s on the cover of the special 15th anniversary November issue of Vogue Japan.

While this excited many Kerr fans, much of that excitement was replaced with confusion when shots from the photo shoot were released. It was immediately clear that the actress was dressed to look like a geisha, a samurai and even an anime character. Of course, this begs the question: Where is the line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation, and what does this categorize as?

Most seem to be leaning towards cultural appropriation. Angry netizens question why a Japanese model wasn’t used for the 15th anniversary issue of  Vogue Japan. After all, the magazine is a Japanese-language magazine. Despite Kerr’s undeniable popularity in Japan, Japanese readers have been shaking their heads in disapproval of the choice to have a foreigner in “Japanese-inspired” outfits.

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However, others have come to Kerr’s defense including the photographer of the photo shoot, Mario Testino. In response to the controversy he explained, “I wanted to represent ancient and modern Japan with these three characters. Japan has geisha and samurai, as well as manga, and I hoped to express these themes through Miranda to the Japanese people.”

Some Kerr fans have even used cosplay as an example of cultural appreciation and note that race does not matter when avid fans dress up as their favorite anime or comicbook character. They argue that this photo shoot does the same. To others, the rebuttal for this argument is simple: this is not cosplay. This is a magazine which creates influence and for some, shapes beauty standards.

Kerr has not released her opinion on the matter, but she has been putting up photos on her Instagram since earlier this month.

Check them out below and give us your verdict. Is this cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation?

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Yuna Kim Graces the Cover of ‘VOGUE KOREA’

Story by James S. Kim.

Yuna Kim hung up her blades for the final time after a farewell performance in Seoul earlier this month. But the South Korean queen of the ice isn’t done with figure skating quite yet.

Kim told Vogue Korea that she was looking forward to the next stage in her career, which will involve developing younger skaters and keeping South Korea in the conversation for the sport.

“Thinking about how I am going to be living a completely different life, I am excited and also afraid,” she admitted. “However, my anticipation is greater. I will still be working in sports. Since figure skating is something that I know the most, I won’t let go of it, and I hope to be able to help my juniors.”

Readers of Vogue Korea will also be able to see an entirely different side of Kim in the June issue. Her photo spread brings back memories of her 2010 record-setting gold medal free skate in Vancouver, where she skated to George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F,” as she dons the bob and edginess of a 1920s flapper.

Check out these photos.

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This story was originally published on iamkoream.com
(Images via Vogue Korea)

Asians in Fashion | Jeon Ji Hyun for Vogue Korea, September 2013

South Korean actress, Jeon Ji Hyun, is best known for her role as “The Girl” in My Sassy Girl. Since the release of the romantic comedy in 2001, My Sassy Girl has maintained its rank as one of the highest grossing Korean comedies of all time.

While Jeon Ji Hyun is definitely worthy of her popularity as “The Girl”, she should clearly be known for her fashion sense as well. Posing for Vogue Korea,  Jeon Ji Hyun is captivating with her classy looks and just the right pop of color.

Check out more of her looks below:

 

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Asians in Fashion | Vogue China’s 8th Anniversary

(On left: Sui He; On right: Liu Wen)

To mark their eighth year as a publication, Vogue China called on photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin to shoot eight different covers for their September 2013 edition, each of which feature one of eight of the world’s top models.  Four of the covers spotlight four of China’s own (and some of our favorite cover girls) — Xiao Wen Ju, Sui He, Liu Wen and Fei Fei Sun — as well as Daria Strokous, Doutzen Kroes, Kati Nescher and Sasha Pivovarova.

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On left: Fei Fei Sun; On right: Xiao Wen Ju

To see all of the covers, visit The Fashion Spot.

Asians in Fashion | G-Dragon for Vogue Korea

To celebrate their 17th anniversary, Vogue Korea is releasing three versions of their latest issue, which will be available this August. On the cover is none other than Big Bang’s leader, the ever-stylish G-Dragon. The “One of a Kind” singer-rapper-songwriter shows off three very different sides of himself in each cover, appearing alongside top Korean models Soo Joo, Sunghee Kim and Jihye Park.

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Asians in Fashion | CL for Vogue July 2013

Make way for The Baddest Female there is. Last month, 2ne1′s CL released her first solo single in over five years. Was she successful? You bet. In less than 24 hours after the video release of her solo single, she hit over 1 million views. Clearly, CL is ready to take the stage. Check out her photoshoot for Vogue July 2013- its nothing short of fierce.

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