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FHM Philippines covers can be racy, but should never be RACIST. February 25, 2012

Posted by quiapo in badtrip na naman si pierre, Gripes / Flames / Rants, Musings / Random Thoughts, Photos.
Tags: , , , , ,
6 comments

Major Update: FHM Philippines has issued an apology and will use another cover for their March 2012 issue. You can see their official statement here.

They have deleted the old cover’s picture from their fb page and with this, I have also deleted the reposted image here as I believe I should not be storing racially insensitive images in my personal blog. I hope that other sites that reposted the FHM Philippines’ “stepping out of the shadows” cover would delete their copies as well. I also hope that our friends from all forms of media learn from this issue and become more sensitive to racial and social issues.

The blog posting per se is still intact below, but without the image.

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I was involuntarily shutdown from any gimmicks tonight because my right thigh hurts after I sprained it yesterday, so I was wasting my time on FB when a post from FHM Philippines’ Facebook page caught my eye. I’m a sucker for porcelain skinned girls and I wanted to view a bigger version of the picture. So I clicked on the link and this is what I saw:

(Image Deleted for World Peace)

March 2012 FHM Philippines Bela Padilla Cover
Also when you see it, you’ll shitbrix

I had to squint a little and check the details of the photo. It say’s “Bela Padilla: stepping out of the shadows” with a very light skinned Bela Padilla surrounded by five girls. Of the five, it seems three had their bodies (and face) covered in black paint. Er… isn’t that BLACKFACE?

Now, I was pretty surprised to see this. I know FHM has been criticized as a sexist rag, but do they have to be racist as well?  With FHM being an international publication, I don’t understand how the magazine’s editors and art team would fail to recognize the sensitivity of people to blackface.  Blackface has been a tool of racism in America since the early 1800s, where African Americans are stereotyped and lampooned as several comical caricatures. In the US, as well as in most of the western world, the use of blackface has been very controversial and has been generally limited to satire in main stream media, such as in Robert Downey Jr.’s character in Tropic Thunder.

And even without the blackface, the “stepping out of the shadows” theme with “black” girls seemingly worshiping a very light skinned Bela Padilla is pretty racist as well. The photo gives a stark contrast to what people deem attractive/grabs attention as represented by skin tones, with the shadow / unnoticeable “black girls” being mere background to Bela Padilla who’s skin is very light. To me, what this projects is that you can only be noticed (step out of the shadow) if you are light skinned. Now, ain’t that racist?

I posted this reaction on the same FHM post above:

just my two cents: FHM is an international publication and they should’ve been more sensitive to issues on racism. A quick wiki shows that blackface was used to stereotype and lampoon African Americans.

Kung tayo nga, sobrang sensitive natin pag may humihirit ng negative tungkol sa pinoy/Pilipinas, bakit pagdating sa mga african-americans eh napaka-racist pa din natin na napaka-insensitive natin tulad na lang dito sa cover na ‘to. If you don’t want racism to be used against you, be sensitive to other races.

In this day and age, blackface should only be used for satire or social commentary. This isn’t the case in this shoot.

A lot of other netizens have been calling out FHM and their racist photoshoot as well. I do hope that from the negative reaction, they’ll issue a public apology, review their editorial policies, punish the staff responsible for this, and recall the magazine and replace it with something that’s not racist.

Update: someone posted an online petition to recall the magazine issue. If you’re like me and you’re offended (and/or you shat brix upon seeing the blackfaces) , sign it.  http://www.change.org/petitions/for-him-magazine-philippines-to-apologize-for-and-recall-the-racist-march-2012-cover?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=share_with_facebook_friends#

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