Lebron James - Image Problem?

. Apr 1, 2008

The April cover of Vogue magazine chose to depict NBA star Lebron James and supermodel Gisele Bundchen. However, there has been heavy criticism on the manner in which the two individuals have been portrayed, specifically their body language. Why is James flexing, open-mouthed, and with an aggressive expression on his face wearing basketball gear, while Bundchen is wearing an evening dress and seems uncomfortable in his arms like a damsel in distress? Several critics across the media have argued that the article is racially insensitive and perpetuates racial stereotypes of the "savage black man" that desires the "pure white woman." Furthermore, it has also been compared to the racist image of King Kong clutching the helpless white woman. James is the first African American to be on the cover of Vogue and many have questioned his choice to portray himself in this manner. The April Issue was supposed to be the "Shape Issue," yet the cover does not seem to convey this message. Below you will find a news cast from the Today Show, an article written by USA Today, and ESPN on the matter. Is it James at fault or is it the supposed artistic direction of Vogue magazine? Or do you think nothing is wrong with the magazine at all? What is your opinion on the issue?!

ESPN Article by: Jemele Hill - "Lebron Should Be More Careful With His Image"

USA Today Article - "Lebron James' 'Vogue' Cover Called Racially Insensitive"