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The Ugly Message

Looking through a fashion magazine can be a great way to pass time or pick up some new ideas about latest fashion trends. The glossy pages are mostly filled with great articles or images about what is new and exciting in the world of fashion and beauty, but every now and then an offensive article or image slips past the editors and makes it in.

Stepping over the line

A few days ago the images of a dark skinned boy being represented as a child slave serving a white woman made its way to the pages of Diva Magazine. The images were from the fashion campaign “Be my slave” by the Pakistani designer Aamna Aqeel. The pictures and the name of the campaign show the young boy in different submissive position while the white woman is shown as the ruling character.

Cover up!

After the backlash of these images the designer explained that her intention was not to promote or make light of slavery. According to Aamna Aqeel’s her intention was to shed light on child labor. Shining light on the horrible child labor issue is important but this fashion campaign and its images don’t seem to communicate that message regardless of the intention. As a reader what I see is a dark-skinned boy serving a fair-skinned woman. What I don’t see is a message about the the need for change when it comes to the child labor problems. “Be my slave” which is the title for this campaign is also another problematic part, those words promote slavery they don’t dispute it.

A little ethics can go a long way

Whatever the reasoning behind the ad, they should not have made it to print. They shouldn’t have been made in the first place. There are things that should not be taken lightly or be used to sale a pair of pants and slavery is one of them. Slavery is not glamorous, it’s a sad part of history that should be looked at as a learning tool. It is one of the most shameful parts in the human diary which will hopefully never be repeated. Every designer, editor, every human has the duty to never do anything that might glamorize or promote slavery. Let’s hope this unfortunate ad campaign is the last time we see anything like this.


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