Kendall Jenner being featured on the cover of Vogue India’s 10-year Anniversary issue has sparked outrage over the magazine’s failure to feature an actual Indian model.
The backlash comes about a month after the supermodel half-sister of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, appeared in a Pepsi commercial that was so highly-criticized that the company ended up pulling the advertisement altogether.
Jenner also caught heat for being associated with Ja Rule’s failed luxury music festival, Fyre Fest, which reportedly paid the young woman $250,000 for one Instagram post promoting the event before she deleted it.
Many were angered over the Vogue India cover, which was shot by Italian photographer Mario Testino in India’s pink city, Jaipur, because it brings up another missed opportunity to celebrate women of color.
Vogue has garnered hundreds of negative comments after it posted the cover on Instagram, with many users criticizing the magazine for not hiring a local model.
“Yes, it’s pretty, but we’re not celebrating white/European beauty standards…we’re trying to celebrate Indian women of color,” 17-year-old Instagram user Sabrina Martinez wrote, adding that as a woman of color, she felt disappointed and hurt seeing the photo.
“It says that’s the beauty standard, it says that you can’t be the epitome of beauty if you’re not white. Even this magazine that’s supposed to be celebrating another culture, another type of beauty is not recognizing even what it’s supposed to be standing for.”
Some of the pieces inside the 10-year anniversary edition did showcase some Indian stars, including Bollywood actors Sushant Singh Rajput and Katrina Kaif, who was born in Hong Kong.
But many people in India found the decision to choose Jenner to be on the front page insulting and upsetting.
“If you compare it to her past covers, you look at them and she’s definitely (been) bronzed into an Indian face,” 22-year-old Harnidh Kaur, from Mumbai, told CNN.
“In a country where you’re struggling with colorism and shade discrimination, to see that — it’s very insulting.”