Trump’s Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas” comment last week has triggered the liberal left into near hysteria. Of course the liberal left has no problem with the fact that Warren faked her native american blood line to benefit from affirmative action laws meant for real native americans.
In an article entitled, Hey, Victoria’s Secret: Cultural Appropriation Isn’t Hot. It’s Wrong, Truthdig scolds Victoria’s Secret, and the entire fashion industry, for cultural appropriation with its “nomadic adventure” themed 2017 runway motif at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai on Monday.
The fashion industry is in a vicious cycle. It uses and abuses Native imagery from cultures the world over. This promotes stereotypes and minimizes the voice of indigenous people. This perpetuates the idea that there are no intelligent, capable or modern indigenous people who could speak for or represent themselves and their communities.
The latest and most obvious example took place this week. The Victoria’s Secret fashion show—viewed by millions worldwide—gave us a massive dose of cultural appropriation with its “nomadic adventure”-themed 2017 runway motif. Models wore a hodgepodge of feathers, beads and prints that were supposedly inspired by “indigenous African culture,” and it was all kinds of messy.
To understand liberal logic, RPT referenced an article from The College Fix, which reports how Brown University is implementing a change to its graduate school application that will allow applicants to “self-identify” as persons of color. But the liberal left is outraged when models wear lingerie with a native american motif?
In all seriousness, remember that cultural appropriation is not just annoying, and it’s not just tacky. It’s harmful. Companies like Victoria’s Secret, and individuals who make the same mistake of headdress-and-bikini combos, are hypersexualizing Native women, putting us further at risk for objectification and dehumanization in a world where we are already at higher risk of sexual assault and rape than any other ethnicity
As for the models, you’re not off the hook, either. People who have modeled for Victoria’s Secret, such as Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid, are massively influential. Part of their appeal with kids these days is that they use “wokeness” to improve their image. (Look at their Instagram pages for philanthropy updates.) They have the money and the time to hire people to make sure they’re not offending anybody. It’s a simple job—they should do it. Just as for the fashion companies, their public images would benefit. They can and should take steps to not embarrass themselves.
Finally, cultural appropriation in fashion plays a huge role in the continued dismissal of indigenous cultures as primitive, dismisses indigenous people as playthings, and perpetuates the idea that we are relics of the past. The truth is, we’re human, we’re here, and we are tired of being marginalized. We want our children to be taken seriously, we want our elders to be respected, and we want our headdresses to stay far away from your runways, Halloween parties and music festivals.
In case you were wondering what all the liberal outrage is about, here are some of Victoria’s Secret models “dismisses indigenous people as playthings”…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.