British Vogue Editors Can’t Tell These Two Chinese Models Apart

You know that old, insensitive stereotype that all Chinese people look exactly alike? It’s bogus, but apparently the people at British Vogue think it’s true. In a recent story about the rise of Asian models, the photo editors captioned a photo of Chinese model Liu Wen with another Chinese model named Du Juan.

Racked spotted the error, which is only made more egregious when you consider that it’s attached to a story about how awesome Asian models are. Both Wen and Juan have had a lot of success in the modeling industry, because they’re each really good at what they do. They’ve distinguished themselves from the rest of the pack, but apparently they haven’t done enough to distinguish themselves from one another. Per Racked:

Du Juan, a former ballerina, grew up in Shanghai and was a runner-up in the Ford Supermodel of the World competition. She’s appeared in editorials in Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and international editions of Vogue. Liu Wen is the face of Estee Lauder, hails from the Hunan province, and has appeared in ad campaigns for brands including DKNY Jeans, Gap, and Barneys New York.

Juan’s editorial prowess and Wen’s ability to move product are separate traits — traits that the British Vogue story no doubt highlighted. So you’d think that they’d take extra care to present images of these women correctly. This mistake isn’t just sloppy, it’s embarrassing, (and, unfortunately, tinged with racism).

We’re glad that models who aren’t, well, white, are getting their share of talking up in the media. But what good is all that talk if you can’t even get their names right?


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