Cardi B doesn’t need to do much to stir up controversy, but she definitely mustn’t have thought that about the release of her debut sneaker collection with Reebok which is due on Friday, November 13. According to the captions of the images, the 28-year-old rapper was paying homage to the Hindu goddess Durga, who is the symbol of strength and protection in a gorgeous red Georges Hobeika gown to promote her sneaker collection. Cardi captioned one image, “So excited for my sneaker drop this Friday November 13th! Hope you guys love it! Cardi’s glamourous image for the magazine cover showed her with her hands (eight of them, like Goddess Durga) stretched around her in different positions, her long black hair tailing behind her.
Footwear News’ Instagram handle shared the image of Cardi, captioning it, “If Cardi’s rockin’ it, go buy stock in it. That’s a tip as FN’s November cover star Cardi B makes her first major foray into the shoe industry with the Nov. 13 debut of her Club C Cardi sneaker collection with Reebok.”
The caption went on that she is paying homage to Goddess Durga, “In a Georges Hobeika dress, she pays homage to Durga, the Hindu goddess, whose symbols of protection and inner strength resonate as much in modern times as they have through the centuries. Like Durga, Cardi B is a dominant female voice at a critical time.”
While the photograph was artistically appealing, the fact that one would go as far as compare oneself to a goddess of a country that takes religion very seriously almost seemed like asking for trouble. And rightly so, as social media users began to lash out at the WAP rapper. Cardi’s corseted gown revealed her cleavage, and this hurt more than a few Indian sensibilities. Indians were extremely displeased by Cardi’s bare bodied homage to the Goddess, and one Twitter user wrote, “So some people are saying Cardi B is paying homeage to our hindu goddess Durga. As a hindu, I want to say that, durga maa is never depicted bare bodied. Secondly it is prohibited to wear shoes in a temple and this woman is holding a shoe on her hand depicting goddess Durga?”
Other Twitter users weren’t as eloquent to express their disgruntlement:
However, soon after Cardi began to trend on Twitter for upsetting the sentiments of believers, the rapper posted an apology video to her Instagram stories saying, “A lot of my fans have been telling me that I’m getting dragged through social media…. And they say it’s because of my Reebok shoot and saying that I disrespected a Goddess…. When I did the shoot the creatives told me I was going to represent a Goddess, that she represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something that I love and I’m all about, and though it was dope. But if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say that was not my intent. I do not like offending anyone’s religion; I wouldn’t like it if someone did it to my religion. When people dress as Virgin Mary and Jesus, as long as they do it in a beautiful, graceful way…. But I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful; maybe I should have done my research. I’m sorry, I can’t change the past but I will do more research for the future.”
What do you think of Cardi’s photo? Is it appreciation or insensitivity?