Karlie Kloss Criticized For Geisha-Themed Vogue Photo Shoot

Supermodel Karlie Kloss appeared in a photo shoot dressed as a Japanese geisha for Vogue’s March diversity issue.

The photos were shot in Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park by photographer Mikael Jansson and styled by Phyllis Posnick.

The article was titled, Spirited Away and in the photo spread Kloss’s signature blond hair is replaced with thick, long black locks and her skin appears paler than usual, as she is shown wearing traditional Japanese patterns and kimonos.

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Jansson posted a similar photo of the model with painted white face with red lips, soaking in a tub, to Instagram Tuesday.

“Karlie Kloss in Japan, 2017,” Janssen, a frequent Vogue photographer, captioned his photo of Kloss. “Vogue Magazine, unpublished.”

New York magazine published photos of what appears to be a hard copy of Vogue’s March issue.

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Many people on social media noted that it seems odd that a white woman portrays a Japanese geisha in an issue that supposedly promotes the beauty of diversity.

Some were comparing Kloss to other celebrities who’ve been called out for attempting to normalize cultural appropriation, such as Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson.

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The March 2017 issue of the magazine is Vogue‘s first time featuring an Asian model on the cover but many people were noting how that victory was weakened by model Liu Wen sharing the cover with six other models.

This comes after model Gigi Hadid, one of the models Wen shares the cover with, was recently called out for a racist Instagram story mocking Asian features.

Some people on social media also noted that Kloss had a six-page spread in the diversity issue, while two models of colour were only given one picture each.

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Kloss later apologized on Twitter, after receiving much backlash.

She wrote that she was “truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive,” and that she will ensure her future shoots and projects reflect her mission to “empower and inspire women.”

Back in 2012, Kloss walked down the Victoria Secret’s runway in a Native American-inspired headdress and the look was edited out of the TV broadcast. She later took to Twitter to apologize.

During a September 2016 Marc Jacobs fashion show, Kloss and other models wore dreadlock wigs.

This isn’t the first controversy Vogue’s diversity issue has started.

Some people on social media suggest that plus-size model Ashley Graham was told to cover her thighs with her arm.

“I chose to pose like that … no one told me to do anything,” Graham responded to a fan on Instagram, who questioned why Vogue made her cover her leg.

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