China accuses Mercedes-Benz of perpetuating Western beauty ideals

A Mercedes-Benz ad posted on the Chinese social network Weibo was removed following a backlash over the model’s “slanted eyes”.

Chinese social media has been immersed in a mind-boggling debate over advertisements describing so-called Western beauty ideals for Asian women, including the use of makeup to create stereotypical ‘slanted eyes’.

Mercedes-Benz has reportedly removed a recent video ad posted to Chinese social network Weibo on December 25, after the brand was criticized for applying makeup to a model’s face to give her exaggerated slanted eyes. the New York Post reports.

“Is there beauty in this makeup?” Wrote a reviewer. “It’s not [open for] interpretation. No Chinese will think that kind of “beauty” is attractive, “added another.

The Chinese Communist Party World time said on Tuesday that the hashtag that translates to “Mercedes-Benz model’s makeup is controversial” has gained more than 170 million views on Weibo.

“The premise is that the Chinese cannot let the West shape our aesthetic,” wrote one reviewer, by World time.

“For these malicious slanderers, we must maintain sufficient vigilance and counterattack. “

The post office contacted Mercedes-Benz to confirm the information.

The luxury automaker is one of the latest in a string of controversies to take hold on Chinese social media, as critics lash out at Western brands for promoting stereotypes of Chinese beauty in their ads.

Earlier this week, Gucci was also called out for a new advertisement for a handbag that uses “discriminatory” Chinese characteristics.

Communication law professor Zhu Wei, Chinese University of Political Science and Law, said in a statement to the World time Regarding Gucci’s announcement, “This is extremely disrespectful to our culture. The disgust and revulsion expressed by the whole of society towards this kind of insult must be heard. “

His fellow fashion designer Dior apologized in November following an outcry over an advertisement for a handbag.

Beijing-based photographer Chen Man admitted his “immaturity and ignorance” in “perpetuating racial stereotypes” for the shoot, while the fashion house responded by saying it “respects the feelings of the Chinese people.”

It’s not just high-end brands that are said to be disconnected.

Last week, a model from Chinese snack brand Three Squirrels spoke out against detractors of the brand, asking, “Am I not Chinese?” Consumers bristled with an ad campaign unearthed from 2019 featuring model Cai Niang Niang, who some say was featured in the ad for her “slanting eyes” and posed with her hair in braids, which all play into 19th century Western stereotypes of Chinese people.

She wrote on Weibo on Sunday, according to the South China Morning Post, “With small eyes, am I not Chinese?” I totally agree with patriotism. However, creating big problems out of normal things has become a morbid obsession. Hope everyone can have a healthy mindset.

This article originally appeared on New York Post and has been reproduced with permission

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