Model Blasted for Instagram Post Wearing Burka to "Embrace Diversity"

In an attempt to promote her book about climate change, British actress-turned-activist Lily Cole, came under fire on Instagram. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Cole was wearing a blue burka, and next to it was an image of herself with the burka pulled up, revealing her face.

The Instagram post was captioned, "Let's embrace diversity on every level – biodiversity; cultural diversity; diversity of thinking; diversity of voices; diversity of ideas." One would be forgiven for saying such a line, and the ethics it promotes are somewhat reasonable.

Many do not agree. Cole's Instagram post came in an untimely event when Afghanistan was about to fall to the Taliban. "The Taliban forces women to wear a burka," said one Instagram user who criticized her, just below a comment congratulating Cole on her new book.

On top of the actress' untimely post, another contention everyone had against her Instagram post was the severe misrepresentation Cole was projecting. A columnist from The Time, Janice Turner, condemns Cole for "putting Instagram posturing before universal human rights." One of the founders of the Hijabi Half-Hour podcast, Anjum Peerbacos, calls the post disrespectful, adding that the burka is "not a fashion accessory to be able to be deployed as a publicity stunt."

Janice Turner, a British journalist, tweeted a scathing criticism of Cole's Instagram post, equating the actress to the "vacuity of modern hashtag-feminism."

The actress immediately took down the Instagram post and issued a public apology, explaining that she was not aware of what was unfolding in Afghanistan at the time of the posting.

Cole further explained that she used an "old photo" of her donning a burka loaned by her friend, "as she pointed out I was undermining its original purpose by wearing it with my face exposed..." she said. Cole also claimed to have understood why the images she posted upset people, adding that she "sincerely apologize for any offense caused."

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