Kanye West, you picked the wrong smiling-blonde-lady.jpg to put on your campaign posters. On August 18, the independent presidential candidate tweeted a “KANYE 2020 VISION” poster featuring stock imagery of smiling people of all walks of life, including a close-up of a happy, sun-dappled Kirsten Dunst. The photo, it turns out, was taken by photographer Mario Testino and was from a Vanity Fair photo shoot in 2002. Dunst, who supported and publicly endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 primaries, tweeted her confusion about the unauthorized use of her face on West’s campaign poster, replying, “What’s the message here, and why am I apart [sic] of it?” with the shruggy-lady emoji. And that really is the question we all want the answer to: What is the message here? Where is he going with this? Why is this happening?
Look, we’re glad to have a reason to reflect on the ethereal beauty of Dunst in the post–Virgin Suicides era, but it’s a bummer that we have to talk about it because West is going forward with this political project. West’s confused political leanings aside, the aesthetics of this poster are extremely not it. Among the checkerboard of diverse smiling children and elderly people and workers in construction helmets, West also uses a picture of Anna Wintour, because, yeah, Condé Nast management is really what you want to be associating your campaign with right now.