Chrissy Teigen says that the modeling industry still has strides to make when it comes to diversity.
At the Sports Illustrated Swim 2017 launch party, the outspoken model was asked by E! News about why it’s so important that this year’s issue focused on diversity. MJ Day, SI’s Swimsuit issue editor, told Motto that she wanted the issue to convey that beauty isn’t limited to any standardized look or ideal.
Teigen, who is Thai, Norwegian and German, said it was personally important for her to see a variety of women in magazine pages. “I want it to be a normal thing to be able to see Asian models, and I think Asian models are really underrepresented in the industry, especially on the runways, in magazines,” Teigen told E! News. “It’s really nice to be able to come up in a magazine and make your people proud… My mom every day is like ‘Oh my god, Thailand is so excited that you’re in the issue!’ and I’m like ‘Oh my god, Thailand knows about me!'”
Teigen’s comments follow a controversial shoot in Vogue‘s March issue, where model Karlie Kloss, who is white, posed in conventional Japanese style. Kloss later apologized for “participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive.”
While Teigen didn’t directly address the Vogue shoot, she did discuss the issue of cultural appropriation in the fashion industry. “I personally am not offended by cultural appropriation of any sort because I feel like it does pay homage, but at the same time there are a lot of beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Asian women that could do the same thing,” she said.