Dumb Racist Art Project: White Woman Sells Naked Oprah / Hyperallergic

Peggy Noland’s Oprah dresses. (image via colorlines.com)

Peggy Noland’s Oprah dresses. (image via colorlines.com)

Artist and fashion designer Peggy Noland’s four dresses of Oprah’s face Photoshopped onto variously sized black female bodies perpetuate American pop culture’s rampant racism. Modeled by a white woman, the dresses suggest that anyone can go ahead and “try on” a black woman’s body in sizes “petite, average, or obese,” all categories defined by white beauty standards. This harkens back to histories of black bodies of all genders being put on display, often at public slave auctions, as objects of ridicule and scrutiny, to be bought and sold under white American supremacy. But it doesn’t stop there — Noland chooses an unidentified headless black female body that’s essentially decapitated, its head replaced with Oprah’s.

Noland banks on a white hipster aesthetic that gives anyone who questions it both an ironic shrug of the shoulders and an eye-roll, suggesting that everyone needs to “calm the fuck down already” because we live in a post-racial world. This is how hipster racism subtly and insidiously begins, eventually becoming full-on pop culture racism. The artist profits, and the black woman’s body is once again visually, sexually, and emotionally degraded. One wonder what Noland’s recent client Rihanna would say.

Read the full story on Hyperallergic:  http://hyperallergic.com/93999/dumb-racist-art-project-white-woman-sells-naked-oprah/