8 Shocking Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Controversies
6. Gigi Hadid Racism Controversy
Gigi Hadid made a surprise exit from the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which was held in Shanghai, China. While she didn’t give a reason for why she pulled out, there are rumors that she did so because she wasn’t welcome in the country. After she announced that she would be walking in the show in August, her Instagram was flooded with angry comments. Some commenters called her a racist and it is assumed that this was a reference to a video that her sister Bella had uploaded a year earlier that showed Gigi squinting her eyes while holding a Buddha-shaped cookie to her face. Some suspect that this video prevented her from getting a visa to China.
— Hannah (@hannaaah_rose20) November 17, 2017
5. Cultural Appropriation Accusations
After the 2016 show, Victoria’s Secret was accused of cultural appropriation. Cosmopolitan writer Helin Jung accused the brand of taking inspiration from China and Mexico and of holding a condescending attitude towards its Asian customers. “Even as the world gets more connected, a sexist, patriarchal, mostly white corporation continues to take what it wants for its own gain,” she wrote. “What condescension, for Victoria’s Secret to think that by wrapping a model in a dragon, it could connect directly with a new consumer in China.” She finished her critique of the company with, “stick to things that don’t have cultural reference.” This isn’t the first time that Victoria’s Secret has come under fire for cultural appropriation. In 2012, the brand faced a serious backlash when Karlie Kloss modelled a Native American-style headdress on the runway, which caused the company to pull all of the footage from broadcast and issue an apology on Twitter.