(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireIimage/Getty Images)
The fashion industry has an unfortunate habit of fetishizing the poor and homeless, whether it’s by designing collections inspired by the poor, talking about how creatively dressed the homeless are, or reveling in scenes of models waving $5,000 handbags in front of shacks. This weekend in Paris Vogue style editor-at-large; beautiful, rich blonde; and actual princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis stumbled across a homeless woman reading a copy of her magazine. Like a true Vogue-ite, von Thurn und Taxis could not let the scene pass without remarking on the humorous juxtaposition, and posted an utterly tasteless photo and caption to Instagram.
“Paris is full of surprises … and @voguemagazine readers even in unexpected corners!” she quipped alongside a photo of a homeless person on the streets of Paris who happened to be reading a copy of Vogue.
Unsurprisingly, many of the followers of “ElisabethTNT” did not find the photo so funny. As Fashionista’s Dhani Mau pointed out, von Thurn und Taxis seemed to be amused by the “surprising” image and the juxtaposition of a homeless person and Vogue. She did not appear to have asked the woman’s permission to be photographed and put on the Internet for the fashion industry to gawk at.
Von Thurn und Taxis took umbrage at the idea that her post was tasteless and said, “Why cruel? The person to me is as dignified as anyone else!”
The photo sure doesn’t look like she thought that way, though. It looks like she saw a woman on the street and thought, “Oh, how funny!” It was as tacky and gross as the “selfies with homeless people” trend, and she is a grown woman who should have known better.
UPDATE: The Daily Mail found the woman in the photograph, who is 65-year-old Maryse Dumas. Dumas says she did not recall being photographed, but she did not seem to be a fan of the princess’ action.
“It’s not nice taking pictures of people living on the street, that not polite,” she told the Daily Mail. “It’s no joke being destitute, living on the street.”