Naked Oprah on a Dress, "Retarde" on a Tank Top: the Latest in Offensive Clothing
Dress to offend? Those who like to use their sartorial choices to genuinely upset people just got a great new range of options.
First up, we've got what The Cut termed a "Skinny, Naked, and Screaming" Oprah dress, which is just as confusing and inappropriate as it sounds. Designer Peggy Noland, she of the self-professed "white trash meets high class" aesthetic, created a high-necked, long-sleeved, ankle-length dress that comes in four versions, each printed with a bizarre twist on Oprah's naked body. You can wear a skinny, topless, smiling Oprah; an obese, topless, screaming Oprah; and a "regular-sized" naked Oprah. If that's just not weird enough for you, there's always the topless Oprah in KISS makeup.
Noland told The Cut her thought processes behind the dress that's blowing up the internet:
Of course, everybody but Noland herself sees just how offensive it is to place a black woman's body — especially a naked black woman's body — on display, for profit. There's a long, painful history concerning sexual exploitation of the black female form that Noland appears to be completely ignorant of, given that she didn't even come close to the addressing the issue during her interview with The Cut. She did, however, mention Oprah's very public struggles with her weight, which the dress... nods at?
But maybe you're not concerned with issues of race and sex. Maybe you're more the type to poke fun at people's disabilities, in which case, Art of Aztec has a shirt for you. It's got the word "RETARDE" emblazoned across the chest, and it's stirring up quite the controversy in Adelaide, Australia.
The Adelaide designers, Renae Beaty and Ema Raw, meant something entirely different when they designed the shirt. Their inspiration, they say, was from a French word that's often emblazoned on their merchandise:
But French origins aside, the word is too close to an offensive one to sit well with people. And the chain in Adelaide that's selling the shirt, Globalize, is the one really stepping on people's toes. After a protest outside Globalize this morning, the clothing chain director, Clayton Cross, spoke on the radio about how kids with intellectual disabilities need to "toughen up."
A Globalize staff member said that the company would not reorder the shirts. However, the shirts sold out in the the very store where the protest was taking place. As ever, controversy still results in profit.