Cara Delevingne recreated Janet Jackson’s iconic 1993 Rolling Stone photo in which she is featured topless. On Wednesday, Delevingne took to her Instagram page to share the black-and-white snapshot, which she shot for Balmain.
In the photo in question, the 26-year-old model is featured with her front to the camera as the brand’s creative director Olivier Rousteing covers her breasts with his hands. Unlike Jackson’s photo, Rousteing’s face is visible as he hugs Delevingne from behind. The London-born model is wearing a sophisticated high-waisted skirt that sits loosely around her ribcage. She has her hands up, like Jackson, but unlike the singer, Delevingne has her arms around Rousteing’s head in a mutual embrace.
“I love her so much that I don’t want to see any clothes on her,” Rousteing, 33, told Vogue. “Her gaze is so strong and magnetic, it’s nearly an item of clothing in itself.”
Delevingne is wearing her hair pulled back tightly in a way to showcase her face. Her fierce brows highlight her powerful gaze that Rousteing admires so much. The model is looking straight into the camera with her lips slightly pouted in a seductive way.
Rousteing added that the photo seeks to emphasize the concept of inclusivity by portraying an embrace of two skin colors, he told Vogue.
The photo, which Delevingne shared with her 41.2 million Instagram followers, garnered more than 1.4 million likes and more than 7,300 comments. Users of the popular social media platform and fans of the model flocked to the comments section to share their praise for the shot, an homage to the 1990s icon. However, some commenters questioned whether Delevingne was sending the wrong message to young girls by allowing a man to touch her bare breasts.
“Why would you let [a] stranger touch you [sic] breasts. I assume you learned nothing from metoo… you truly constantly teach girls to behave in such a fashion that will put an average girl (not topmodel Cara) in danger and at risk of assault,” one user pondered.
Other users jumped in her defense, arguing that, as a feminist, Delevingne is allowed to do whatever she chooses to do with her own body.
In addition to this photo, Balmain also shared another photo on its Instagram featuring Delevingne completely nude as she reclines in front of a large “B” – a reworking of Pierre Balmain’s branding that Rousteing reimagined in 2018, according to the Vogue report. Although “the campaign images are very sensual, there is nothing flirtatious about them,” Rousteing emphasized.