OK, Last week Nivea for men posted a wack-ass ad insinuating that black men with beards and afros were “uncivilized” and “didn’t give a damn”. It was just an asshole move on their part and after getting slammed for it in every corner of the World Wide Web, they took the ad down and issued an apology.
Fast forward to this week: Here’s Vogue Italia with their “slave earrings”. Yep, “SLAVE EARRINGS”. Check it:
From the Vogue Italia website:
Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are theslave and creole styles in gold hoops.
If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on.
Anna Bassi, Vogue Gioiello n. 109, March 2010
It seems as if we have to teach these unaware corporations everyday that our culture isn’t up for exploitation and that they need to respect us. Hey, I’m down if you’re down. This right here is disgusting. It is a slap in the face of not only the memory every slave woman who suffered the indignities of European Chattel Slavery, but to all of their descendants, including me. A Black slave woman would be be beaten if she even attempted to adorn herself with something as fine as gold hoop earrings. No white slave traders ever said to African women “Oh, well ma’am…I’m going to take you over to the Americas and sell you into a lifetime of bondage, servitude and horrific violence, but you can keep those nice gold hoop earrings you’re wearing.” Excuse my tart language, but Vogue Italia can get the entire f*ck outta here with this ad. Slavery is never trendy, fashionable or chic.
I’m about sick of this crap. I sent the people at Vogue a letter and I encourage you to the same if ad this offends you as much as it does me. Fellow Blogger @purplepeace79 sent me this note that she put up on her Tumblr blog and she is giving us all permission to copy and paste it into the contact form over at vogue.com to lodge our complaints:
On the Vogue Italia website, there is a product called “Slave Earrings”http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-gioiello/shop-the-trend/2011/08/hoop-earrings. This is horribly disrespectful to people of African descent whose ancestors endured the horrors of slavery. To refer to gold hoop earrings as “slave earrings” is a slap in the face to every enslaved person who suffered at the hands of racist oppression. You should pull this item or change the change name immediately. This is unbelievable. How did you let this happen?
Thanks for this form letter, PurplePeace. If this doesn’t drive home the point to the people at Vogue that “slavery accessories” are not that new hot sh*t, then they truly just don’t give a damn.