Chinese netizens have responded angrily to a Zara marketing campaign which features an Asian model because she has freckles which they said were an insult to the country.
Zara had selected Chinese top model Li Jingwen, professionally known as Jing Wen to promote its latest makeup collection globally.
The campaign started well for the Spanish fashion retailer after uploading images to the company’s website, but Chinese online shoppers were outraged when they were posted on Zara’s ‘Weibo’ page in Asia.
Many comments were directed at Zara’s decision to use a freckled face to represent Asians with some accusing the fashion brand of “insulting the country” and even “uglifying China”.
However, not everyone on Weibo was offended with some commentators supporting Zara and the 25-year-old model. One netizen said: “I think the model looks good. She has a kind of confident beauty.”
Jing Wen is one of China’s top models and has featured on the covers of magazines such as ‘Vogue’ China and in adverts for brands such as Calvin Klein, H&M and Prada.
In response to the backlash, Zara released a statement saying that they did not mean to cause offence and simply did not touch up the pictures with a photo editing programme.
Zara added that the criticism was simply down to “differences in aesthetic tastes” between Spain and China.
In 2016, Jing Wen said in an interview that she used to hate her freckles: “At school I always tried to cover them, but now it is okay. I like them and that’s enough.”