cameron diaz peru bag
Images from Yahoo

A huge fashion Don’t was committed by Cameron Diaz earlier this week. While traveling in Peru, Cameron sported a bag with the slogan “Serve the People,” made by Communist leader Mao Zedong. The insurgency by this leader and campaign ended in nearly 70,000 people dead.

Should she have known better? Should she have looked into what the bag meant? Or is this no big deal?

AGUAS CALIENTES, Peru – Actress Cameron Diaz appears to have committed a major fashion faux pas in Peru.

The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated “Shrek” films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring here Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong’s favorite political slogans.

While explored the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in Peru’s Andes, Diaz wore over her shoulder an olive green messenger bag emblazoned with a red star and the words “Serve the People” printed in Chinese on the flap, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao’s most famous political slogan.

While the bags are marketed as trendy fashion accessories in some world capitals, the phrase has particular resonance in Peru, where the Maoist Shining Path insurgency brought Peru to edge of chaos in the 1980s and early 1990s with a campaign of massacres, assassinations and bombings.

Nearly 70,000 people were killed during the insurgency.

A prominent Peruvian human rights activist said the star of “There’s Something About Mary” should have been a little more aware of local sensitivities when picking her accessories.

“It alludes to a concept that did so much damage to Peru, that brought about so many victims,” said Pablo Rojas about the bag’s slogan. “I don’t think she should have used that bag where the followers of that ideology” did so much damage.

Via NY Daily News

Another pic of Diaz with the bag below

cameron diaz peru bag1

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Andy

    Maybe she didn’t know better….But I firmly believe that someone in the public eye should be sensitive to all cultures, especially when travelling.
    MAJOR & Unfortunate faux pas!

  • Lauren

    I agree. I at least hope she knew the bag said something before she just bought it because she liked it.

  • jen (aka Raging Rouge)

    I think it is extremely likely she had no idea what this meant. And the phrase “Serve the People” actually sounds like a positive message!

    • Angie A

      Yes, but it is a Communist Worker Party slogan…not a positive…

  • Travelbliss

    She should have stuck with Lous Vuitton !!

  • Joan

    Bad bad, a public person, traveling to a “sensitive” area should be on guard.
    That was stupid very stupid on her part.

  • Kira

    I know there’s a good chance she didn’t know what the Chinese characters meant, but the colours are clearly Maoist – anyone with an inkling of history and a university education should recognise that. Plus, Diaz is one of those “hyper-concerned” stars in the mold of Angelina Jolie. She claims to care about the world’s plight, but doesn’t do her research.

    Whatever, just another stupid Hollywood celeb with no clue. This isn’t just a fashion faux-pas, this is a bit of a political no-no.

  • mavis

    i bet she knew nothing about history

    didn’t have much education


    maybe can’t even read


  • Rapunzel

    There is no way she should have traveled anywhere with anything like that without researching the cultural impact of that item. It’s really rude and insensitive to that culture.

    • maaq

      Umm, if she didn’t know her bag had a political message written on it (well, that text is in chinese! and sometimes chinese looking characters are just ment to be cool & decorative or so) or anything, why would she had done that? Unless she researches the cultural impact of every single thing she takes w/ her before travelling. :shock:

      Even if she didn’t know the meaning of the chinese slogan, she isn’t stupid. Well ok, maybe she is, but not only because of her handbag.

      • Isabel

        Disregarding the Chinese characters, what kind of educated person does not know what the red star and that color scheme means? Even if you don’t know for sure what the characters mean and their significance, you still ought to stay away from anything that’s laden with political meanings that you don’t actively support.

        Of course, this isn’t her fault mostly, it’s her stylist’s.

      • maaq

        Do they teach that in school? (I don’t think they do – here, in northern europe, even though we’re supposed to have super great school system or something – and I’m pretty sure that most of people, at least if they’re young or so, don’t know recognize that sign/combination here unless they have especially studied history. Everyone knows Mao though – or at least I think so.) Anyway, is that symbol as common and well-known in the USA as the Che Guevera picture for example?

  • merve

    She has all these people PAs and what not tending to her every need. None of them had a clue either? I think she has to think about hiring herself some new staff and getting her and them enroled in some kind of university education.

  • mavis

    remember the character she played in In Her Shoes

    maybe her educational qualifications are exactly like that


    i mean its fair that she can’t read Chinese, but does she have the slightest clue about Mao? apart from the fact that he’s Chinese and was a huge political figure


  • Katie

    I’m kind of confused at why she’d buy a bag with writing on it that she didn’t understand. I wouldn’t go out and buy a bag with Chinese writing that I couldn’t read, as it may say something offending on it. It’s common sense, isn’t it?

  • wanghaha

    The meaning of the Chinese characters on her bag is the same of Abraham Lincoln’s ‘of the peple, by the people, for the people’.
    And she made the US$5 bag look so cool on her.

    To me, the reaction in Peru was understood but certainly unexpected. She handled it very well afterwards.

  • Marina

    OJala q vuelvas ! :cry: