Scantily clothed models in “Native” inspired fashions, posing in Utah, depicting Native Americans. Check, check and check.
In another episode of “Native American Appropriations”, Germany’s Next Top Model host, Heidi Klum, thought it was a genius idea to ship the contestants to Utah and have a Native American photo-shoot.
Needless to say, people aren’t pleased.
Heidi hosts a show overseas called Germany’s Next Top Model. Last Thursday Ms. Thang posted a gallery on Facebook under the title, “Here are my Beautiful GNTM Girls!” Lo and behold, the spread was plum full of some of the most stereotypical, patently offensive photographs of pouty, half-naked white women posing ever-so seductively in war paint and headdresses that I’ve seen in well, months (what can I say, we’re currently plodding through an epidemic of society fetishizing Native women).
Appropriators, I don’t care how cute you look in a headdress. You aren’t Native. You have no right to wear a warbonnet because you have not earned it. You haven’t performed deeds of valor nor fought and given of yourself for a plains Tribal people. Every feather in a headdress signifies a specific act of bravery and self-sacrifice. If you are not a chief or a warrior, take it off before a Native woman finds you and snatches it off, along with some of your weave.
As a Native woman, I’m tired of being bombarded with negative, false imagery of who society thinks I am. For once I’d like to enjoy a fashion show, a music video, a football game or a photo spread without being singled out because of my race. It’s not just offensive, it’s discriminatory and just plain rude.
After Klum posted the photos to her Facebook page, people were eager to express their displeasure:
How could you possibly be proud of this, Heidi??
Construction is riddled with ignorance, creativity is racist, vision is myopic, I’m sorry but you fail as an artist and a human being.
This is inappropriate and unnecessary. Hypersexualizing native women in a fashion photo shoot does no good. One in three native women are sexual assaulted or raped in their lifetime. Aspects of our culture are not something to be worn as costume for commercialization or mockery. This does not honor nor benefit members of Native American culture.
What were you thinking…that’s it you weren’t. You have disrespected many different nations by desecrating scared ceremonial items and devaluing the image of our women. What is wrong with you? You should be ashamed of yourself!
Klum has yet to address the issue.