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Chinese Photographer Apologises For 'Small Eyes' Dior Picture

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Chinese Photographer Apologises For 'Small Eyes' Dior Picture

A photographer has apologised for any offence caused by their 'small eyes' picture.

Chen Man was slammed after her photo was deemed by some people online to have perpetuated Western stereotypes of Asian faces.

The image, which showed a young woman with freckles and heavy makeup staring straight down the camera lens, had been taken as part of an installation for fashion giant Dior, and went on display on 12 November.

But it came in for a wave of criticism, with people saying it was an offensive characterisation and even threatening to boycott the beauty brand as a result.

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"This is how Western people think we look," wrote one user on Weibo.

The photo was created for Dior. Credit: Chen Man/Dior
The photo was created for Dior. Credit: Chen Man/Dior

While an article in the Beijing Daily said: "For years, Asian women have always appeared with small eyes and freckles from the Western perspective.

"The photographer is playing up to the brands, or the aesthetic tastes of the western world."

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Some also pointed out that Ms Chen's photo looked incredibly similar to another of her pieces from 2012, which she did for i-D Magazine.

But not everyone agreed with the critique.

Sticking up for Ms Chen, one person claimed they felt it was perfectly valid, saying: "Why can't a Chinese woman with small eyes also be considered beautiful? I don't see any problem with this."

Ms Chen was criticised for the photo. Credit: Alamy
Ms Chen was criticised for the photo. Credit: Alamy
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However, Ms Chen has since apologised for any offence caused and promised to improve her understanding of Chinese culture.

The 41-year-old said: "I blame myself for my immaturity and ignorance [in my past works].

"I was born and raised in China. I deeply love my country. As an artist, I'm totally aware of my responsibility to document Chinese culture and showcase Chinese beauty through my work.

"That is a goal I kept persisting in and want to work for."

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People pointed out that it looked like a previous piece from Ms Chen. Credit: I-D Magazine
People pointed out that it looked like a previous piece from Ms Chen. Credit: I-D Magazine

Adding: "I will educate myself on Chinese history, attend more relevant events, and improve my ideologies... I will strive to tell China's story right through my work."

Dior has also confirmed that the picture has since been removed from its display at an exhibition in Shanghai.

The company wrote on social media: "We have removed the work as soon as there was criticism from the internet. We highly value people's opinions, respect Chinese people's feelings and strictly follow Chinese laws and regulations and will assist relative departments in evaluating all publicly displayed works.

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"Dior, as always, respects the sentiments of the Chinese people... If any errors happen, [Dior] must be open to receiving feedback and correct them in time."

Featured Image Credit: Chen Man/Dior

Topics: World News, Photography, Art, Fashion, Photographer

Dominic Smithers
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