People on social media immediately pointed out that the ‘look’ was not an ‘aesthetic’ choice.
“Cardi B did not pay ‘homage’ to the Hindu goddess Durga by holding a shoe in her hand, this is plain disrespect and in no way cultural appreciation,” one person wrote.
Calling the photoshoot “mocking”, another pointed out that shoes are prohibited in Hindu temples.
The WAP singer later apologised in an Instagram video:
“The creatives told me, ‘You’re gonna represent a goddess,’ that she represents strength, femininity and liberation … and I thought that was dope. But if people feel that I’m offending their culture or their religion, I want to say I’m sorry. That was not my intent,” she said.
“Maybe I should’ve done my research,” she continued.
Footwear News also apologised on Tuesday, writing in an Instagram caption: “One of the images was intended to pay homage to Hindu goddess Durga, and our intent was to show a powerful woman. However, we realize we were not considerate of certain cultural and religious perspectives and how this could be perceived as deeply offensive.”
They continued: “We take full accountability for this oversight and we apologize. It is important we learn from this example and are sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future.”