In weeks after a certain look signed by Victoria’s Secret and worn by Candice Swanepoel sparkled controversy in the Fashionverse (you can see the said outfit here), here comes Karlie Kloss, dressed as a Native American causing a stir. You can look at things like that or just look at the picture below and see how a kiss can cause headache.
Why? You’ll ask.. well, simply because when the first images from the Victoria’s Secret 2012 Fashion Show appeared online, it wasn’t clear enough what Karlie was doing. Blowing a kiss or blowing the entire Native American population’s sensitivity in air. All that because the brave VS designers really wanted to reinvent Pocahontas but forgot it’s far from being just a skin – deep issue.
I admit, I had my doubts about Karlie being a real VS Angel. She even wore her wings with pride and joy, like she always does. Her catwalk is a blessing on high heels – when she struts on the runway, it’s like she’s dancing! I never cease to be amazed by Karlie’s walk! And as this new controversy will break in her lap, I can’t do otherwise but support her. Karlie was blowing a kiss, people, let’s just sit back, sigh with relief and just hope this segment gets a real short broadcast moment on CBS’ montage airing next month on National Television!
I’m sorry for Karlie, she did get to wear three outfits and she wore them good, but this one, it just has to go… (images startraksphoto via)
The issue is NOT about the model blowing a kiss, it is how we, as Native people, are being mis-represented.
First, women NEVER wore the feathered war bonnets, those were worn by the men of my Nation, and only by those who had earned the right to wear one.
Second, we as Native people, are not just found in dry, dusty history books. We are over 500 vibrant, thriving, and culturally/linguistically distinct Nations, each with our own language and history.
We are still here and we are not symbols, mascots, stereotypes or fashion statements.
We all know that Victoria’s Secret would NEVER dress a model in black face, so why is it appropriate to dress a white woman in inappropriate “Native” attire?
It is not just the war bonnet that bothers me as a Native woman. It is the lack of respect for us as a people and the obvious lack of research that shows in the accessories that are clearly a mix of Native peoples, and have nothing to do with each other, except that they fit in to the stereotype held by some white person who clearly did not take the time to at least research what are appropriate accessories for a woman.
We, as Native women, are almost 3 times more likely to be raped than any other race. By depicting us as sex objects (and let’s face it, sex appeal has a lot to do with Victoria’s Secret), you are not only disrespecting us as women, you are disrespecting us as a race. You are hurting those who have already been hurt enough over the last 500 + years.
Before you pass judgement on us for being upset over something so obviously racist, do yourself and Native peoples everywhere a favor, and try to see things from our point of view before you open your mouth.
Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, a PROUD LAKOTA WOMAN
I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw this photo. Will Vicky’s Secret be featuring BLACKFACE MODELS next year? Disgusting.
And PS- Pocahontas wasnt a plains Native, her tribe never donned a long war bonnet. Victoria’s Secret should try to do just a shred of research before they offend 550+ tribal nations in the US and Canada, and really any aboriginal group on Earth.
“People always associate Indian headdress with feathers, but do you know what the feathers represent? Warriors earned a feather each time he did something the tribe felt was a brave act. Many times, the first feather earned by a warrior was given to him for being seen as an adult member of the tribe. However, the warrior was not just given the feather. The warrior had to prepare himself to receive such an honor and that often require days of fasting and meditation.
Each time the warrior earned a feather, he would either wear it (but he only wore a couple into battle) or put it on a pole used for special occasions. Once he had collected enough feathers, they were then made into a headdress. Because each feather had a special meaning, binding them together in a headdress made that Indian headdress even more special. Only the men, closest friends of the warrior, were involved in making the headdress. The Indian chiefs also “earned” each of their feathers. The most prized of all feathers to receive for an Indian headdress was the Golden Eagle feather. Because the Indians saw the eagle as a messenger of God, this feather could only be earned through hardship, loyalty, and strength.”
Thanks so much for sharing your stories. Sad but also very beautiful.
They should leave this segment out of the show when broadcast on tv. But it’s probably not possible since I read she present the month November in the segment Calender Girls.
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