It is amazing how anyone would be able to look at this picture and say, “no, this is clearly not a perpetuation of a disgusting, racist, exploitative caricature.” And you would think that, with each of Victoria’s Secret’s flubs this year– first with their “Sexy Little Geisha” nightie and more recently with their use of a Native American headdress in their runway show–that Illamasqua and any other company would be sure to check that they are being culturally sensitive with their advertisements.
As of now, Illamasqua has not taken down their ads or commented on the campaign.
Update, November 28, 11:20 AM: Illamasqua has issued an apology on their Facebook account which reads,
We thank and acknowledge your comments regarding the above image. Obviously it was never our intention to cause offence; Illamasqua has always celebrated the right to self-expression and we continually push creative and artistic boundaries, priding ourselves on working with models of many ethnic backgrounds to reinforce this point. Alex Box, Illamasqua’s Creative Director, has emphasised that this campaign is about colour ON the skin, not colour OF the skin, depicting polarity between the two images (both images are the same model) not race.
So basically means, “sorry you were offended by our ad, but I guess you just don’t ‘get it.'”