Amber Rose Posed For 'Paper' Magazine Dressed As Classic Feminist Icons — PHOTOS
In her latest rad, pro-women move, model and activist Amber Rose posed as multiple feminist icons in a photo shoot with Paper Magazine to celebrate the release of her book (part memoir, part manifesto), How To Be A Bad Bitch. In fact, Rose has done a lot to position herself at the forefront of the feminist movement as of late. Back in September, she starred in Funny Or Die's "Walk Of No Shame," an excellent sex-positive video which aimed to de-stigmatize the infamous "walk of shame" for sexually active feminine people. Furthermore, she organized a large scale Slut Walk to promote sex positivity, which above all aims to create visibility for more oppressed groups like trans folks, women of color, and sex workers (as her website states).
So it's only fitting that Rose should be the one to pose as multiple feminist superheroes that came before her. In the shoot, she dressed as Rosie the Riveter, the women of Pussy Riot, Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Susan B. Anthony, Marlene Dietrich, and (of course) herself. The pictures came out beautifully, as Rose looked so badass and powerful in every shot decked out in the creations of Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.
However, with such a genius concept for a shoot, it seems a bit unfortunate that the majority of the classic "feminist icons" in the shoot are all white women (with the exception of Dorothy Pitman Hughes, who is sharing a photo with Gloria Steinem). Of course, this isn't at all unique to Paper, as this is certainly not the first instance of whitewashing feminism. But if the publication was taking the time to commemorate Rose and all of her feminist achievements, there could have been more care taken to reflect the intersectionality that the subject of their photoshoot stands for and embodies. I was so disappointed when I saw Paper's choice of women for which Rose would pose as, despite what a genius idea the concept was. Amber Rose is a strong woman of color with a powerful voice seeking to elevate other marginalized identities, and so the fact that these intersections were not reflected in the shoot is simply a missed opportunity. Paper Magazine has not yet responded to Bustle's request for comment on the icons chosen.
Powerful women from history like Sojourner Truth, Zora Neale Hurston, and Audre Lorde would have been great additions. Or even prominent Black feminists from today, such as bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with Rose posing as Pussy Riot or Gloria Steinem. They were important figures that helped change the course of history for women all over the world. But there is certainly no shortage of powerful feminine women of color who have also changed the world in which they live (or lived) in.
Ideally, this shoot could have represented a greater variety of what a feminist icon looks like, with Rose as the perfect and slightly unconventional example for that. First and foremost, we need to become familiar with the powerful women of color who have advanced feminism, and continue to fight for it today, and stop allowing our society to whitewash away any important impact women like Rose have on the course of history.