Victoria's Secret forced to remove new Go East collection from sale after 'racist' Sexy Little Geisha outfit sparks backlash
22:06 GMT, 24 September 2012
Victoria’s Secret has removed a newly launched lingerie collection titled Go East from its website, after one particular outfit called Sexy Little Geisha was labelled racist by offended critics.
The 'Eastern-inspired' cut-out sheer mesh teddy, which comes with a matching removable obi belt, fan and chopsticks, was described as 'your ticket to an exotic adventure,' by the lingerie giant.
Victoria's Secret, who are yet to release a statement, have tacitly responded to the backlash by redirecting users looking for the product's page, along with the rest of the Go East collection, to the site's main homepage.
Labelled racist: Victorias Secret has removed a newly launched lingerie collection titled Go East from its website after one particular outfit called Sexy Little Geisha was labelled racist by offended critics
After Racialicious, a website that dissects the intersection of race and popular culture, accused Victoria's Secret of reducing Eastern culture to a stereotype of exotic sexuality, other critics quickly followed suit.
Racialicious called the outfit, modelled by Swedish born model Candice Swanepoel, 'A troubling attempt to sidestep authentic representation of a culture and opt instead for racialized fetishizing against Asian women.
'There’s a long-standing trend to represent Asian women as hypersexualized objects of fantasy, so it’s telling that none of the models wearing the Go East collection appear to be Asian.'
It continued: 'Sex and sexuality don’t live in a bubble. They intersect with our
historical and cultural contexts.
Geisha gone: Victoria's Secret, who are yet to release a statement, have tacitly responded to the backlash by redirecting users looking for the Go East collection to the site's main homepage
'Donning a “sexy Geisha” outfit to get
the ball rolling in the bedroom remains offensive because it confirms a
paradigm in which Asian people and their culture can be modified and
sexualized and appropriated for the benefit of the West.'
The Frisky, a popular culture website aimed at women, agreed with the issue Racialicious took to Victoria's Secret's cultural appropriation.
The website wrote: 'Considering the complicated history of geishas, repurposing the [geisha] 'look' for a major corporation to sell as role-playing lingerie seems a bit tasteless.'
Another blogger, on a site called Angry Asian Man, posted a photo of the Sexy Little Geisha and commented: 'Hooray for exotic orientalist bulls**t.'