‘Be My Slave’ Photo Shoot Depicting White Woman With Dark-Skinned Child As Servant Ignites Fury


You know how the lazier members of the fashion world tend to use controversy to sell clothes rather than doing so via quality, creative campaigns? Introducing Pakistani designer Aamna Aqeel, whose ‘Be My Slave’ photo shoot for Diva magazine has ignited debate pissed everybody who justifiably dislikes the use of slavery depictions for monetary gain and notoriety.

A relatively new designer, Aqeel apparently feels the need to utilize images of colonialism and servitude to shock and awe the fashion community into giving her a bit of controversial attention. I wish I didn’t have to presume things of this nature, but honestly, there are few genuinely plausible reasons behind putting a white woman in designer clothing and a young dark-skinned male in such poses together.

Naturally, the designer designs any negative or racist intent, stating that the use of a darker child was coincidental and that “he works in a garage and wanted some work.” Oh, and that she was just trying to initiate discussions on child labor. You guys just don’t get it; she wasn’t selling clothes, she was selling morality!

Salima Feerasta of the Tribune wrote about why this explanation falls short:

It’s facetious of the designer to claim that she was trying to stimulate a debate on child labour. The model wearing her clothes is clearly comfortable with her dominant position. She is not made up in a way that shows her to be the villain of the piece. The use of a dark skinned child in a shoot entitled “Be My Slave” certainly reeks of racism, however much the designer may deny it. And if anything, the shoot seems to condone child labour.

It would be different if Aqeel were an anonymous photographer or artist of some sort who wasn’t trying to sell any product, but this isn’t the case. Aamna Aqeel is a designer, and ‘Be My Slave’ is an advertisement with a pretty model and pretty clothes and a very, very ugly message.

Photos: Aamna Aqeel’s Facebook

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    • http://www.facebook.com/katiegrantloveandtofu Katie Grant

      There is nothing fashionable about owning another human. This “campaign” is tacky, sickening, and ill-conceived.

      • truthteller

        Actually, this is a hot new trend in Hollywood. J Lo, Britney and Paris have all bought slaves from Africa and Gucci is releasing a new line of deluxe leather and iron collars for them!

    • ChattyCathy

      The award for most ignorant parents goes to…this child’s parents who signed off for him to be in this campaign.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

        God, I didn’t even think of that. Ughhh.

      • Mz. L

        racism is alive and it breeding consistently, people fail to realize you may suppress, surpass by stepping on others to get where it is that they want to go,but in the end; if it were not true ( everyone that was born would still be alive today ) will leave this earth and all of your belongings to whomever whether you like them they will go and you yourself will go to a place of eternity. Whether we like it or not, no one will be able to beg nor plead for an intervention you will get what it is that you gave. So continue to demise, lie, hurt, steal, kill, walk on, dismiss, uphold injustice,pick on, laugh at and make fun of, call people all kind of degrading names but once it is your turn to be ridiculed please tell the press how it made you feel.

    • cassie

      i dunno, i thought it had a message. when you see these beautiful clothes in regular advertisements, you don’t see the oppressed people who created them. i think it makes you connect (visually) slave labor to clothing, which is something most advertisers and manufacturers want to avoid like the plague. Of course it makes you angry and leaves a bad taste in your mouth- that’s the point. It’s obviously not pro-slavery.

    • UStillHere?

      I guess they figured since they have slave labor making the clothes, why not let them appear in the ads as well. Sigh! Nothing human about humanity.

    • lyn1524

      well ,lets ask this young man ,how he felt about it. And what did he use he paycheck for? And is he hoping to find another acting job. And if he was a child ,what did he parents think about it , I seen a lot worst then this. I would be glad to lie down as a slave and collect the paycheck, because I bet it was good money. People quit trying to start trouble, This could be the chance he has been wanting for