According to NYPOST, Chinese social media has been engrossed in an eye-popping debate over ads depicting alleged Western beauty ideals for Asian women, including the usage of makeup to create stereotypical “slanted eyes.”
Mercedes-Benz has reportedly removed a recent video advertisement published on Chinese social network Weibo on Dec. 25, after the brand was criticized for doing up a model’s face to give her exaggerated sloping eyes.
“Is there any beauty in this makeup?” one critic wrote. “It is not [open for] interpretation. No Chinese will think this kind of ‘beauty’ is attractive,” another added.
The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times said on Tuesday that the hashtag that translates to “Mercedes-Benz model’s makeup is controversial” had gained over 170 million views on Weibo.
“The premise is that Chinese cannot let the West shape our aesthetics,” wrote one critic, per Global Times. “For those malicious slanderers, we should maintain sufficient vigilance and counter-attack.”
The Post has reached out to Mercedes-Benz to confirm reports.
The luxury carmaker is one of the latest in a spate of controversies to take over Chinese social media, as critics lash out against Western brands for promoting Chinese beauty stereotypes in their ads. Earlier this week, Gucci was similarly called out for a new handbag ad that uses “discriminatory” Chinese features.
Communication-law professor Zhu Wei, of the state’s China University of Political Science and Law, said in a statement to the Global Times regarding Gucci’s ad, “This is extremely disrespectful to our culture. The disgust and revulsion expressed by the whole society toward this kind of insult should be heard.”