February 11 2017
Jillian Kay Melchior
In the new issue of New York Magazine, Jessica Lange poses as eight iconic women who inspired her, including the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. According to Latina, that choice infuriated “some Latinxs [who] viewed Lange’s Frida piece as cultural appropriation.”
The photographer, Sandro, told Heat Street in an email that it was “obvious these people don’t understand the idea behind the project.”
“I’ve been doing this way too long to be jostled by a few ignorant naysayers,” he said.
A spokesperson for New York Magazine declined to comment. On social media, readers were quick to take offense at the image.
“This is almost as bad as whites putting on black face,” wrote one Facebook user named Mario Gauna.
Another, Ish Guevara, posted, “This is indigenous traditional dress…. Stop colonizing us!”
On Twitter, one user said, “Jessica Lange is disgusting for that Frida Kahlo ‘dress up.’”
In addition to Kahlo, for the photo series Lange also portrayed Gloria Steinem, Georgia O’Keeffe, Janis Joplin, Diana Vreeland, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West and Simone de Beauvoir.
“The women she chose are powerful and visionary; women who changed the world,” New York Magazine wrote.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.