‘Asian face’: Gucci draws flak in China for model’s ‘small eyes,’ makeup

Gucci has become the latest company to come under fire in China for having a model that allegedly perpetuates “Western stereotypes” about Chinese people.

Driving the news: In ads for its new series of bamboo top handle bags, Gucci allegedly featured a female model with “slanted eyes,” a nose ring and a leather whip in her hand. Critics reportedly found the ads offensive, arguing that they serve the Western idea of how Chinese people look.

  • Gucci posted the model’s photos on Weibo on Dec. 10, but they were gone as of Wednesday, according to Global Times.
  • The state-run media said the brand retracted photos of the bags on Weibo, but the model’s images remained on Twitter.
  • Critics have claimed Gucci’s actions were “clearly a manifestation of a guilty conscience.”
  • While some took a jab on the brand’s supposedly Western view of Chinese people, others simply found the model’s makeup and accessories “morbid.”

The big picture: Chinese social media users have taken offense at the allegedly negative portrayals of Chinese people of several major companies lately, including two other brands in just the last week.

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  • Three Squirrels, a local snack brand, faced backlash last week over a resurfaced 2019 ad that featured a model with “slanted eyes.” While the company was forced to apologize, the model in question fired back at critics.
  • This week, Mercedes-Benz was also criticized for likewise using a model with “slanted eyes.” The automaker has since deleted the ad under scrutiny.
  • Dior faced similar backlash in November for featuring an “uglified” model. Other fashion brands that have faced scrutiny in China include Dolce & Gabbana, H&M, Nike and Zara.

Featured Image via Gucci (left, right)

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