Melbourne: Victoria’s Secret is said to have removed a newly launched lingerie collection titled ‘Go East’ from its website after one of its outfits - ‘Sexy Little Geisha’ - was labelled racist by offended critics.

The ‘Eastern-inspired’ cut-out sheer mesh teddy, which comes with a matching removable obi belt, fan and chopsticks, was described as “your ticket to an exotic adventure”, by the lingerie giant.

Victoria’s Secret, who are yet to release a statement, have tacitly responded to the backlash by redirecting users looking for the product’s page, along with the rest of the Go East collection, to the site’s main homepage.

After Racialicious, a website that dissects the intersection of race and popular culture, accused Victoria’s Secret of reducing Eastern culture to a stereotype of exotic sexuality, other critics quickly followed suit.

Racialicious called the outfit “a troubling attempt to sidestep authentic representation of a culture and opt instead for racialized fetishizing against Asian women.”

“There’s a long-standing trend to represent Asian women as hypersexualized objects of fantasy, so it’s telling that none of the models wearing the Go East collection appear to be Asian,” a daily quoted the site as writing.

“Sex and sexuality don’t live in a bubble. They intersect with our historical and cultural contexts,” it said.
The Frisky, a popular culture website aimed at women, agreed with the issue Racialicious took to Victoria’s Secret’s cultural appropriation.

“Considering the complicated history of geishas, repurposing the (geisha) ‘look’ for a major corporation to sell as role-playing lingerie seems a bit tasteless,” it wrote.


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