On Tuesday, the annual Victoria's Secret fashion aired on CBS. The show, which was taped in Shanghai last week, was by all accounts, an extravaganza of international proportions. The models looked fabulous, as models often will. The runway was superbly lengthy. Even better, barring one notorious incident, almost all the models made it down the runway and back, lingerie and wings still in good form.
Unfortunately, the show has also had no end of controversy, much of it having to do with a dreaded word called racism.
This year's Victoria's Secret fashion show was meant to be an extravaganza of sartorial excellence.
The Angels in the final of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2017 https://t.co/GcrKN0YAi3— Victoria’s Secret Angels (@Victoria’s Secret Angels)1511290705.0
It was also going to be Alessandra Ambrosio's big sendoff.
After 17 years, Alessandra Ambrosio bids farewell to Victoria’ Secret Fashion Show. https://t.co/zbY2eZb8wU— Yan® (@Yan®)1511244526.0
One by one, things started falling apart with the show.
Gigi Hadid won't be at the Victoria Secret fashion show this year, maybe because of the Snapchat video posted in Fe… https://t.co/yAGFtNwb2a— BBC Three (@BBC Three)1510934403.0
Other models were also unable to make the show because they were denied visas.
Kate Grigorieva – Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2015 https://t.co/sioID3KzpG https://t.co/yn7aKgNKcc— Louis Sanchez (@Louis Sanchez)1495376349.0
Singer Katy Perry was replaced with Harry Styles after the Chinese denied her visa because of a performance she'd done in neighboring Taiwan, which China insists is actually part of their country.
Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid reportedly axed from Victoria Secret Fashion Show after being BANNED from China:… https://t.co/28ECUn0sht— Attitude (@Attitude)1510921934.0
On Wednesday, model Karlie Kloss uploaded a video to Youtube offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the models before they hit the runway.
Aaaand she’s BACK! @karliekloss returns to the #VSFashionShow runway & we couldn’t be happier.… https://t.co/A1N6bY8hqs— Victoria's Secret (@Victoria's Secret)1511925833.0
When an unedited version of the video made its way to social media, people were finally able to hear what the models were saying.
The Victoria's Secret angels singing Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" backstage. https://t.co/gGFbNBnQLI— Pop Crave (@Pop Crave)1511932440.0
As a quick reminder, it is not appropriate for people who are not of African American or black extraction to say the N-word. Author, journalist and activist Ta-Nehisi Coates explained why during a talk for his newest book, We Were Eight Years In Power.As we previously stated in an article on the subject:
The reason white people can’t use the N-word... is because of the context. [Coates] cited, as an example, his wife’s use of the word “honey" in reference to him. It was okay if she said it because she was his wife, but if a strange woman said it – not okay. In fact, it might even cause problems because why would a strange woman want to call him honey?
As you can imagine, people on social media were definitely not having it.
@PopCrave The volume I heard the n word doesn’t correlate to the amount of black models in the room https://t.co/KIQ1aywFDk— joi (@joi)1511999611.0
to the causcasian Victoria’s secret models, please refer to this clip the next time you come across the n word during your rap-a-longs??? pic.twitter.com/ssySggBQZV— claude. (@cluadenine) November 30, 2017
So these privileged female models are allowed to say the n word? i THINK THE FUCK NOT & don’t come @ me w/ the bs excuse “they were just singing the song," BECAUSE ITS NOT OKAY— - (@Ariliaaa) November 29, 2017
me still waiting for twitter to expose which non-black victoria’s secret models said the n word while singing bodak yellow pic.twitter.com/97P3rwb6EF— xmas crybaby ☃️ (@yessifarts) November 30, 2017
there’s a really funny video of VS models singing Bodak Yellow and when the N word popped up all of em sang it but this girl looked straight at the camera like “NAH" pic.twitter.com/82NmHLHmVx— ?anarkee? (@itsanarkee) November 30, 2017
wait did those mayonnaise’s just say the n word pic.twitter.com/z48WuM6L9B— Jabe (@hostilitay) November 29, 2017
Hearing these "niggas" but not seeing no niggas pic.twitter.com/xYPAMb0djE— ♡♡♡ (@bbycalypso) November 29, 2017
It's one thing to rap along to Cardi B, it's another thing to rap a word that has been the cause of so much pain and struggle for people of color. It was literally not the models' place to say the N-word. For all those who have a problem with this assessment, Coates gave an example of why this is problematic by citing a friend of his, "who used to have a cabin upstate he termed the 'white trash cabin.' 'I would never refer to that cabin' like that, Coates said. 'I would never tell him, ‘I’m coming to your white trash cabin.’" Why did he refuse to use the phrase "white trash cabin?" Because it was not his place, just like it's not the place of the Victoria's Secret models to belt out a racially problematic word at the top of their goddamn lungs.
She’s safe pic.twitter.com/o1Bp8vAG21— Ben Met H (@liarsdontplay) November 29, 2017