For the March issue of Vogue, the magazine proclaims a celebration of diversity, but all that's been talked about is its lack of sensitivity to the issue of race. Besides the controversial cover which features seven models from different ethnicities, an editorial in the magazine featuring model Kylie Kloss as a geisha has stirred up some controversy, even causing her to apologize for taking part in the shoot. When word about all this got around to the folks in Japan, they let their thoughts known on social media, and what they had to say will get you thinking.

Vogue has never been a stranger to creating controversies, and the March issue of the iconic magazine has followed through again, this time for what many claim are its racial and cultural insensitivities. What started out as an issue to celebrate our differences, the magazine last week released its "Modern American Woman" issue. On the cover were seven models, each representing a different ethnicity. Right off the bat, the publication was accused of having only light to medium skin toned models in the photo, clearly not showing a true representation of diversity.

But what has really gotten many readers and netizens upset is an editorial featured in the magazine — a photo shoot of Kylie Kloss in Japan, dressed in kimonos, posing next to a sumo wrestler, and even pretending to be a geisha while looking beautiful in front of a wall of sake barrels. To many, it's just another fashion story, but to others, it was way out of line, clearly an act of cultural appropriation and whitewashing. "There is a whole country called Japan with Japanese women and they picked a white girl. Wow," wrote one Twitter user. And she wasn't the only one. There were enough of those like her that Kylie Kloss felt compelled to apologize. "These images appropriate a culture that is not my own and I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive," she wrote. "My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission." 

One group of people don't understand what all the fuss is about, and they're even sending their support to the young model through their own social media accounts, and those people are the Japanese. Upon finding out how upset people got in America over a while woman dressed up as a geisha for a magazine, the people who really should be upset had absolutely no problem with it. Comments ranged from, "I feel sorry for Kylie Kloss. The photos are beautiful," to "So in regards to Karlie Kloss, as Japanese people, we should be saying ‘There’s no problem! Please do more of this!’ about any aspect of Japanese culture. And to those who say this is whitewashing or racist, to you I say, before you get angry at her, please do something about your concepts about ninja." And there are countless comments like these. 

Whichever side of the issue you're on, it's worth noting the differences in opinion regarding racism and cultural appropriation. In America, things are easily offensive, whether the insulting words or actions were intended to be or not. In this case, the ones whose feelings should matter, the Japanese, don't seem to mind at all. Many of them seem to even feel a certain pride in an American model dressing up as a geisha for a Vogue editorial. 

So what do you think? Have many Americans become too sensitive to the issue of race? Or should others be more?

Controversial cover


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