Once a year, following lengthy auditions and selective castings, young, hot luminaries are brought together in close quarters where they stop being nice and start getting real.
No, we're not talking about the long-running television show The Real World. We're talking about the Victoria's Secret fashion show.
The star-studded annual television program is taped at a glorious location prior to airing on primetime several weeks later. For this year's VS Show, its troubles actually began with the destination choice itself.
This year's show, hosted in Shanghai, China, was riddled with logistical issues from its inception. In the weeks prior to the jet-setting models chartering a plane to China, racial tensions were the source of the Chinese government's decision to bar some would-be VS Show attendees from the whole country altogether. This included Katy Perry, who was supposed to perform at the event, and model Gigi Hadid. In Hadid's case, a video in which she mocks Buddha's eyes by pulling on the corners of her own was enough to deny her entry from the country "indefinitely." Ironically, this video of Gigi was taken and posted to Snapchat by her sister, Bella, who successfully secured a Chinese visa and was able to attend and walk the show in Shanghai.
Headdresses are next up on the list of problematic behaviors, because what would a festival-themed event be without dishonoring indigenous people? On November 20, Fashionista.com reported that the "Nomadic Adventure" section of the show contained headdresses resembling that of indigenous people's, which they (wisely) predicted would be poorly received, even though they have previously received poor reception for doing the same exact thing.
And finally, the reason why you're here: the crown jewel in the trifecta of problematic behaviors. Being the budding tech mogul she is, model Karlie Kloss posted some backstage tomfoolery to her YouTube channel. In it, the gaggle of models, the vast majority of whom are white, because of course, sing along to the chorus of Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow."
As you can see in the video above, seemingly none of the aforementioned vast majority of white models felt the need to omit the n-word when singing along.
Is it all that surprising, in light of the other egregious missteps the brand has brushed beneath the rug, some of which they still continue to repeat (read: headdresses)? No. However, is it still incredibly disappointing and disturbing, especially in terms of the apparent nonchalance that surrounds it? Yes.
We can only picture Cardi's reaction to this mess, which could probably be summed up with the following:
(Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage)
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