Chrissy Teigen isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even when her comments are controversial.
In a recent interview with E! News, the 31-year-old model called out the lack of diversity in the fashion industry, but raised eyebrows when she added that she is not offended by cultural appropriation.
“I want it to be a normal thing to be able to see Asian models,” she said, “and I think Asian models are really underrepresented in the industry, especially on the runways or in magazines.”
Teigen – who is of Thai and Norwegian descent – then went on to share her controversial views on cultural appropriation.
“I personally am not offended by cultural appropriation of any sort because I feel like it does pay homage,” she said, “but at the same time there are a lot of beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Asian women that could do the same thing.”
Cultural appropriation has always been a touchy subject, but the timing of Teigen’s comments make her views far more controversial.
Just last week, white model Karlie Kloss participated in a photo shoot wearing yellowface for Vogue’s diversity issue. In response, many criticized the model and the magazine for being racist and for contributing to the media’s whitewashing problem.
In light of this, one Twitter user clapped back at Teigen over her comments on cultural appropriation.
“#Racism comes in many forms,” the user wrote. “#CulturalAppropriation is one of them. Saying *you* don't care makes the fight harder.”
“I say ‘harder’ because your platform has been used to speak out against racism,” the user added. “Plz reconsider your stance on this issue.”
@chrissyteigen I say "harder" because your platform has been used to speak out against racism. Plz reconsider your stance on this issue.— Tashia (@MissTashia) February 22, 2017
While Teigen acknowledges the need for greater representation in the fashion industry, her comments only add to the idea that cultural appropriation is OK when it’s not.
Despite this, the model at least acknowledges that the industry needs to move away from cultural stereotypes.
“I think it’s really important to start embracing people,” she said. “Seeing them in roles that are not necessarily ‘That Asian Girl’ or ‘That Asian Boy'... in movies you’re like ‘Oh, this Asian girl is dating this white guy’ — I want that to be normal.”
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