Chrissy Teigen: ‘I want it to be a normal thing to see Asian models’

In our current political climate, diversity in the media is a “front and center” kind of issue, and, as much as you might not be a fan, Chrissy Teigen used her star power to make a statement about more equal representation in the media.

Chrissy, 31, used Thursday night’s Sports Illustrated Swim 2017 launch party to share her concerns about what she felt was the country’s whitewashed media. Chrissy, who is of Thai, German and Norwegian ancestry, told E! News that, “I think its really important to start embracing people…seeing them in roles that are not necessarily ‘That Asian Girl’ or ‘That Asian Boy.’” She went onto say, “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 or in magazines.”

I can’t help but think that Chrissy made her comments after Karlie Kloss’ Vogue photo shoot, where she (inexplicably) posed as a Geisha. As far as Chrissy is concerned, she has mixed feelings about fashion taking on cultural appropriation, telling E!, “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.”

Love her or hate her, I think Chrissy uses her celebrity to her advantage regarding this issue. I’ve not gotten excited about the SI swimsuit issue…ever…but I’m hoping that Chrissy’s comments lead to a bigger conversation. Of course, if I was Chrissy doing an SI shoot (and her daughter Luna is only 10 months old right now), I’d use that platform for good too.

sports illustrated 2017 ny

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards arrivals

Photo credit: Getty Images,

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13 Responses to “Chrissy Teigen: ‘I want it to be a normal thing to see Asian models’”

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  1. Vox says:

    Well, of course there needs to be more representation of Asian people in fashion/modelling, but I’m not sure Chrissy is the right platform for this. I’m kind of leery of her cultural appropriation statement.

    • Nicole says:

      Eh I’m not. You’ll find many minorities that are not personally offended but DO want more representation. What she said is something I’ve heard before. We aren’t all offended to the same degree by everything

    • Luca76 says:

      Hopefully we’ll get to the point one day where we don’t hold minorities to a higher standard then white people. Chrissy isn’t a platform she’s just a person not perfect in any sense but good for her for speaking out.

      • Niaa says:

        I totally agree. I’m from a minority group and I don’t find dressing up in our traditional clothes cultural appropriation at all. There is a difference — and not everything Americans feel sensitive about are issues others do. Different groups worry about different issues. My people actually get really excited when others wear their clothes. H&M recently did an inspired collection and we were all happy. It is representation.

  2. Katherine says:

    Agree about Kloss, would make so much more sense to use an Asian model, it’s not like there are none available. It’s beyond me why there are no Asian superstars in Hollywood

    • Bluer says:

      Michelle Yeoh is about as close as you can get in terms of an Asian woman playing leading roles. Otherwise it’s a kung fu guy like Jackie Chan or Jet Li.

  3. Adrien says:

    I cannot think of any Asian being featured in SI apart from Chrissy and Jessica Gomes. There maybe some but they weren’t featured prominently like the two women I mentioned. Both women are also halfsies.

    Sui He is a VS model who rarely gets mentioned in any VS campaign. We only know Liu Wen. Maybe they will age her out till 30 before they will replace her with another Asian darling.

  4. jerkface says:

    I want there to be less models in general and for clothes to be presented on robots or mobile hangers or the sewing dummies they were constructed on.

    • Luna says:

      I’ve never been to a real runway show, but I used to watch Proj. Runway and remember how the designers critiqued their models. Your comment is fascinating. Do you want more realism, a more even playing field, less anorexia (!)? I’m trying to imagine it — thanks.

  5. BearcatLawyer says:

    Asian models are normal…in Asian countries. It would be great if the European and American fashion industries were as welcoming as other countries are to their models.

    • PIa says:

      Ummmm, you’re wrong. Caucasian models also are very popular in Asian countries. It is a rarity for an Asian model to cover Vogue Japan.

      • Bluer says:

        In Taiwan and China Chinese/Taiwanese models are definitely front and centre over Caucasian models. Vogue, Elle, etc, usually have Chinese/Cantonese/Taiwanese models on the cover. I think it’s quite different in Japan maybe but in culturally Chinese countries they actually prefer Asian models without being prejudiced against Caucasian models. I’m pretty sure countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore also prefer Asian models over Western ones and have plenty of their own local models.

  6. Bluer says:

    There are already lots of Asian models (Liu Wen, etc), but they do serious high fashion because the European luxury brands are targeting China. Sorry, but Chrissy isn’t a “real” model in that she doesn’t really do fashion. She did a bit of SI and that’s it, and I’m sorry to be mean but she’s really unattractive on top of being a uncouth and crass attention seeker. She’s not a good example for the possibilities of Asian models in the mainstream in the west. And in the east, there are and have always been lots and lots of Asian models and supermodels.