Naomi Campbell “Wild Things” Harper’s Bazaar Shoot, Offensive?

Supermodel Naomi Campbell just shot a very strong editorial with famous photographer Jean-Paul Goude for the 2009 September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The editorial shows off both model and photographer’s talents. While the shots are fearless, it nevertheless, depending on who you ask, might seem offensive.

In the photoshoot, Campbells almost outruns a cheetah, seems at ease jumping ropes with monkeys and rides a crocodile and elephant like it is really no big deal. For AOL Black Voices’s it once again depicts the stereotypical “Out of Africa” photoshoots the Western fashion media and the West are notorious for. On the other hand, Fashion Gone Rogue thinks its just Naomi Campbell being fearless.

For me, I do not find it offensive. I think a big part of that has to do with the fact that typically, when the “Out of Africa” editorials take place, it involves an African Model i.e. Alek Wek or Iman, a really sad or poverty ridden story matching the editorial and to worsen the situation, so much energy by the fasion editorial team and crew to make that African model even darker that what they are or ridiculously “African” looking. Here, its just Naomi Campbell being Naomi Campbell i.e. fearless.

Naomi’s seemingly larger than life personality, fearlessness, “I don’t care attitude,” model track record and seeming defiance for the rule of law (assault on her assistant Georgina Galanis, battery allegations on her personal organizer with her cell phone and numerous allegations of battery and assault including on a police officer at Heathrow Airport), makes the editorial’s “Wild Things” come alive beautifully. If anything, it seems the editorial does a great job of bringing Naomi’s “wild” and fearless side out, not Africa’s. Then again, its all open to interpretation, isn’t it?

~by Uduak Oduok

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Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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1 Comment

  1. Deborah says:

    Well, I think Naomi Campbell is offensive in general. She perpetuates the stereotypes of black woman being hedonistic, sexual creatures who are violent. She has done very little for society considering the success she has achieved through modeling. And, quite frankly, I feel she should not still only be modeling. She should be better using her persona and celebrity to do something positive for wildlife not just (still) being photographed with them. Also, she's always on the arm of one white man after the next. I am clearly not a fan of Naomi Campbell.

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