The ad portrayed the rapper as an avatar of Goddess Durga, which led netizens to take offence.
Cardi B landed in hot water after a magazine cover depicted the rapper in an avatar similar to Goddess Durga. In the photo, she is seen holding a sneaker in one hand with her arms photoshopped in various poses around her. The magazine was called Footwear News.
The rapper took to social media to post an apology. WION News reported that in a video story posted on Instagram, Cardi said, “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 I love and I’m all about. And though it was dope, 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."
The shoe she was holding belonged to her latest footwear collection - a collaboration with Reebok. The shoes are to be released in USA and so far, have been sold out.
Users pointed out that Cardi B did not pay 'homage' to the Indian goddess, but was appropriating her for an 'aesthetic'.
The magazine also offered an explanation on seeing the backlash it received on social media. "…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."