CNN’s Anderson Cooper is one of the most outspoken activists and journalists in the world. He recently criticized Alec Baldwin’s anti-gay tirade but has landed in a sort of controversy himself. During his Anderson Cooper 360 show, his ‘Ridiculist’ segment showcased Peruvian Miss Universe entrant Cindy Mejia.
He giggled as she walked around in her colorful attire, drawing widespread criticism and condemnation. The traditional and colorful dress that Cindy Mejia wore is one of the ethnic dresses from the Mantaro Valley. She held a plastic doll attached to her shoulder too and Anderson found that ridiculous.
Probably, it is time for Anderson Cooper to apologize to not only to Cindy Mejia, but also to the people of Peru for ridiculing a beauty contestant. He did not stop at ridiculing her dress, but also went ahead to make ridiculous comments about the plastic child that she carried on her shoulder.
Sometimes, even the most sensitive of people come across as insensitive and it is in the interest of all of us to be wary of ourselves, as sometimes unwittingly we end up saying some of the crassest things in the world. Peruvians are rightfully upset about Cooper’s antics on his show. What do you think? Does this call for an official apology from Anderson Cooper, the celebrated CNN journalist?
Peruvian traditional clothes are often made of wool, cotton and traditional fabrics. The natural dyes often provide colorful contrasts within the fabrics. These traditional patterns have existed in Peru from the days of the Incas and probably even earlier. It takes a lot to understand a culture and what appears alien to us is not ‘ridiculous’.
Instead, there is a lot to learn from and understand from other cultures. The next time you visit Peru, ensure that you make a couple of shopping trips to traditional cloth markets in small towns, where you may be able to purchase just the kind of dress that Cindy is wearing in the picture above.