When NBA superstar Kobe Bryant posed for L.A. Magazine for a high fashion spread, he surely did not expect to become the object of ridicule and derision.
In the photo, which appears to be heavily, er, colored, Bryant’s cocoa visage is one shade lighter than blacktop and his mouth is puckered.
Now the photo probably caused a few sniggers in the Lakers locker room, but on the whole, Bryant’s teammates were very supportive of his foray into modeling. After all, they do have to work with the guy every day.
Fans of the Utah Jazz have no such loyalty. So when Bryant and company met the Jazz in a recent match, fans held up copies of the aforementioned photo and hurled insults and catcalls. It’s enough to make a fashion-forward guy run for cover.
Some argue that racism reared its ugly head the way Bryant was dressed and inked up, saying it brings to mind minstrel-type ads from the late 19th century where white men were pictured wide-eyed in black face with red lipstick, hats, bow ties and all-black clothing.
Others say Bryant looks like a Nigerian with his skin photoshopped to make him look darker than he actually is. They are praising him for his style, even though he had no real say in what he wore during the shoot; it was someone else’s vision.
As rolling out previously reported, the stylist claims he was trying to make Bryant look like Tupac Shakur, but we see how well that endeavor turned out. Will he ever live the shoot down? If the hecklers in Utah are any indication, not anytime soon. –ramone mack