By Minnie Chan and Cailey Rizzo
A Chinese fashion photographer in China has since apologized for the “hurtful” image of a university student sitting on a Dior bag and repeating the fashion house’s iconic slogan “Wherever you go, Dior is.”
The student, a fourth-year student at the Beijing Normal University, was not specifically seen in the picture. However, student activist Huang Yi-lin released a photo to his Twitter account showing a picture of the same student sitting on the shoulder of another student and holding up a bag reading “You are in control” in Chinese.
Huang and other students have since released a statement denouncing the photographer’s photograph as “praising rape culture.”
“The picture, which is called ‘You are in control,’ encourages rape culture, putting girls in an arrangement that could be abused and violating them. It also distorts female psychology,” the student organizers said in the statement.
Ying Guo, the editor of Chinese fashion culture magazine Gao Huan, recently called out the photo and said he found it “shocking.”
“I’m used to these cultural lies, and this is not the first time that a fashion label releases a picture which glorifies rape culture,” he wrote on the magazine’s blog. “I wish we could not accept these things.”
What’s perhaps even more sad about the picture is that it came just days after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tweeted a story about rape culture and a vintage Dior illustration that had become a meme, and the company did not seem to be aware of the feminist critique they were inviting.
“The copyright note plainly states that the photo was taken in China,” Dior China said in a statement to ChinaWins. “But in the message that the international office of the brand made available to media outlets for reading, the image was attributed to the American company, not to the individual Chinese photographer.”