Aussie supermodel-turned-wellness-guru Elle Macpherson has reportedly made a very fucking weird, and quite frankly offensive, comment about having “Aborigine” eyes in a Vogue beauty video. Um, excuse me?
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that while speaking in a video for Vogue‘s ‘Beauty Secrets’ series, Macpherson said: “My eyes are almost black, that’s the Aborigine in me. Being seven generations Australian, they don’t reflect light the same way blue eyes do.”
Uhh. What?? Why would you say that???
There’s a couple of things that are yikes about this one, the most obvious being that referring to Aboriginal people with that particular phrasing is offensive because of its colonial implications, and it has been since the 80s.
Macpherson is 57 years old, so I think it’s probably safe to assume she was around when this shift of language happened, and really, there’s been more than enough time to unlearn it.
SMH reported that fashion insiders immediately reached out to representatives, including sending questions to publicists of Macpherson’s brand WelleCo, to see if this was perhaps her way of revealing Indigenous ancestry. Or at the very least, to ask if she now regretted using a term that is obviously problematic and outdated.
After the questions were sent in, SMH reported that Macpherson’s quotes were quietly edited out of the Vogue video. Despite no responses from any publicists. Interesting.
And that brings me to the second yikes element to this story — Elle Macpherson’s sister confirmed to journalists that this definitely wasn’t an assertion of Aboriginal heritage.
“We are not Indigenous nor have we traced our ancestry,” Mimi Macpherson told Emerald City ‘snappily’, per SMH.
Just posting a picture of my Aboriginal eye because according to Elle MacPherson, it’s a thing. Eyebrow cropped out because we’ve been in lockdown in Melbs forever and I could give JWH a run for his money… pic.twitter.com/RCGBM2SHzR
— Celeste Liddle (@Utopiana) October 24, 2021
The whole thing is just fucking bizarre, which is qwhite on brand considering Elle Macpherson was also one of the celebs peddling chef-turned-conspiracy-theoriest Pete Evans bullshit ‘BioCharger’ last year. You know, the one he was fined $80,000 over because of false advertising? Sigh.