Too Bad Lady Gaga Isn’t Asian: Lady Gaga Graces Cover of V Magazine’s Asian Issue

June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Yes, it’s a pity.  Lady Gaga is, in fact, white.  If I remember correctly, she’s Italian.  I don’t think I would have cared much about this before V Magazine put her on the cover of their Asian issue that launched earlier this month.  And there’s not just one, but THREE white Lady Gaga faces on the cover of an issue that’s supposed to celebrate and promote Asian models who are too often underused, and thus underpaid, in the fashion industry.

Lady Gaga on the Cover of V (via VMagazine)

The issue has many Asians in it: Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata, former Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu, and a slew of Asian models walking the runways today.  And although I doubt that any of these people could sell more copies than Lady Gaga at the moment, the absence of an Asian face on the cover undermines the magazine’s intentions for creating the issue and demotes the Asian theme into a mere gimmick.  The only Asian thing about the cover is the script written on the side that few readers can access.  And sadly, the inaccess reinforces the ubiquitous mystique that Westerners create around East Asian cultures.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m a big fan of V.  And aside from the cover, this issue has a lot of artistic and intellectual richness in it.  The “Girls on Top” spread, for example, beautifully showcases a handful of Asian models who are fairing well in the industry; namely, Liu Wen, Shu Pei, Tao Okamoto, and Fei Fei Sun.  And there are interesting articles about Diane von Furstenberg and Dolce & Gabbana are breaking into the Chinese market.  Take a look for yourself!

Tao Okamoto (left) and Fei Fei Sun (via VMagazine)

Liu Wen (left) and Shu Pei (via VMagazine)

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