Oops, They Did It Again!

Make Fetch Happen caught this photograph in an editorial for the latest Vogue Italia, months after the much-celebrated Black Issue. In this familiar racial distribution of feminine domesticity, the model is of course unnamed in her role as the archetypical mammy figure (a benignly asexual black caretaker who recognizes her innate inferiority and is dedicated to the care of white children). As her counterpart, the blonde references for me the 19th-century “angel of the house” (a designation reserved for bourgeois white womanhood), and in this case the informal title is made literal through the matched metallic patterns of the gown and the tapestry. (She is part of the expensive decor that marks status.) For all that the blonde is totally unremarkable, she is nonetheless meant to be the focus of our attention and awe (after all, she’s wearing the dress and the jewels in this editorial).

I’m just going to reference the entries “Background Color” and “Background Color, Redux” for comparison.


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