Vietnamese Americans Protest Buddha Bikinis

April 21, 2004

Source: Calitoday

On April 21, 2004 Calitoday reported, "Sales of a new Victoria’s Secret swimsuit featuring Buddhist images have been halted internationally after Vietnamese Americans voiced disagreement with designs, according to Vietnamese-language media. A similar model by company OndadeMar no longer is available through its website. One of OndadeMar's summer 2004 styles is called the 'Baby Buddha Bikini.' A new Victoria's Secret bathing suit uses the Buddha's image on the bikini top. 'This way of doing business offended a lot of Buddhists,' said Nam Nyugen, editor of Calitoday, a Vietnamese-language newspaper in San Jose, Calif. The debate over the brands' use of Buddha was partly catalyzed by the attention U.S.-based Vietnamese media have given to the matter. Calitoday has published two articles on the controversy after readers called and wrote the companies in protest. Buddhists around the world have reacted actively to the issue, said Calitoday editor Nam Nyugen."