Freckles Insult China
There was a storm of social media outrage from the Chinese against Zara for their campaign featuring Li Jinweng, an Asian model with freckles. Traditionally, the Chinese believe flawless white skin to be the hallmark of beauty, and many are disgusted that Zara represented their culture with a freckled model without retouching her face. Beauty standards are changing across the globe and this digital commotion reflects the stark difference between Westerner's call for natural beauty such as Selfridge's awareness campaign "Body Politics" compared to China's chase for beautification as they roll out with photo retouching apps for the Chinese selfie culture.
One commentator wrote, “I feel it’s not the brand discriminating against Asian women, but people discriminating against people with freckles” - a belief that many Westerners, including Westernized Chinese, could probably relate to. The Chinese have always been adamant about becoming their ideal best and believe their reputation and image to be at risk with Zara's celebration of individual uniqueness and natural beauty.