So I’m going to rant here a bit. The time of year has arrived where empathy and consideration go out the window. The image on the left is an ignorant portrayal of what is supposed to be a native woman. The image on the right is in fact, a native woman.
There is no excuse for any race or culture to be compacted into a costume for one night of “fun”.
Portrayals like these strip us of our humanity.
I do not support any person who decides to make the conscious effort to perpetuate a vile act such as dressing up as something you’re not.
You are not honoring me. You do not care about me. You are not going to use my culture to spice up your dull life for a night.
I’m human. I’m native. I’m sick and tired.
Okay, but do keep in mind that “dressing up as something you’re not” is literally the point of Halloween. (Straying from what it originally was meant to be perhaps, but nonetheless, what it is today.)
I am not trying to un-justify your offense to this particular costume (it isn’t something I would ever wear) but perhaps think of it this way:
Let’s say someone, a non-native american, really likes the Disney movie ‘Pocahontas’ and wants to dress up as the titular character for Halloween. (We all know that Pocahontas isn’t exactly an accurate portrayal of the real story but let’s set that aside for now.) Or maybe even dressing up as Tiger Lily to accompany a friend’s Peter Pan costume.
Would you consider this to be racist or offensive?
You say there is no excuse for anyone to dress up in the aesthetic of any race or culture but the fact of the matter is, it happens all the time, with every kind of culture + race, and I don’t think it is ever really meant to be harmful in the way you are perceiving it. Spirit halloween is shitty for plenty of reasons though, and it shows in a lot of their costumes as well. Especially anything accompanied with the word “sexy”… and everyone knows nothing is accurately designed or portrayed. All I am trying to say is that I personally believe there are a few exceptions to your claim.
Actually, let’s talk about Pocahontas and Tiger Lily for a second
They’re both problematic characters for many reasons
I have a problem with Matoaka’s (Pocahontas’ real name) portrayal mainly because of the inaccuracy. She was a child when she met John Smith. She’s hypersexualized in her short buckskin dress and made to look like an older woman. Indeed it is not necessarily problematic to wear a costume that is 100 percent identical to the movie, but it does not sit right with me.
Tiger Lily on the otherhand, doesn’t speak throughout the entirety of her scenes.
The “Why is the Red Man Red?” segment had me squirming awkwardly everytime I would see it. It’s not fun watching blatant racism being thrown in your face at such a young age. (If you don’t think that was one of the most offensive scenes you can fuck right off)
Costumes and representations that hypersexualize and demean native women perpetuate violence. Violence among indigenous women is an epidemic that has been overlooked throughout time. Harmful stereotypes in the media play a significant part in violence amongst indigenous women.
1 in 3 native women will be raped in her lifetime. 70 percent of abusers are non-native people.
1,186 reported cases of missing indigenous women in Canada has called for a national inquiry that is STILL overlooked
Overall, this is extremely toxic. Cultural appropriation should not occur as a basis for costumes. There are so many other creative and original ideas one can muster up, but using race and culture stings like no other.
Hypersexualised? Yes. That costume above does that, and it’s wrong. But, as an official Member of the Cherokee Nation, there is nothing offensive about someone dressing up as a Native American. In fact, if done tastefully and in the right spirit, it’s an imitation, and imitation is the SINCEREST form of flattery. Think about it, someone finds inspiration from that way of life. It’s flattery!
It wouldn’t be offensive if a member of another ethnic group dressed up as a white character, would it? No. Dressing up is an expression of awe and admiration.
Disney’s Pocahontas was inaccurate, but the real story/history is probably more offensive to people on Tumblr considering she chose of her own free will to marry a white man, take on a white woman’s name, converted to Christianity (which is not a white man’s religion since Christ would not have been white, but very, very dark haired and exceedingly dark skinned and Christianity accepts any and all ethnic diversity), and then decided to move to a white man’s country. She did that without being forced… choosing to become a part of another culture. It was her choice. It made her happy.
So, you can’t complain Disney was racist in making Pocahontas inaccurate, SINCE the character didn’t change her ways or her culture or religion in the movie. It made many anti-racist statements by Pocahontas telling John Smith she wasn’t going to change her ways but remain true to her people, and by calling him out for calling her a savage just because she wasn’t a part of his culture. So, logically, that’s not racism. That’s the antithesis. Was she sexualised? Yes. But all women of every race are sexualised by Hollywood and the media. It’s a problem that affects us all.
BUT, I do see how the ‘What Makes the Red Man Red’ song can be seen offensively. I’m Native American, my ancestors walked the Trail of Tears, and I don’t find the song offensive… to myself PERSONALLY. And I have family who suffered in the Trail of Tears. But I don’t blame people who find that particular song offensive.
If we really want racism to end, and AGAIN… THIS is being said by a member of the Cherokee Nation (I have an Indian card, and I got my wisdom teeth cut out for FREE because of my heritage. It’s LEGIT. I get exemptions for my taxes and exempt from ObamaCare because I’m Native American) there needs to be an element of forgiveness. Bitterness and anger is not going to solve anything. It creates a bigger problem. Let’s face it, it’s possible for Native Americans to be prejudice towards others too. It’s a two way street. Hitler (a white man) committed grossly racist acts of murder against… who? Oh yeah, a white culture: German Jews.
So, the step towards healing and real equality begins with forgiveness and letting go of bitterness. I’m a freaking Native American myself. I can say this legitimately. White people who aren’t Native Americans have the right to not being treated with discrimination either. They are human themselves. They suffer all sorts of bad, horrible things too. In some sense we segregate ourselves… and make a situation worse than it is.
But hypersexualised is something that happens to ALL woman. We have it in the superhero world (*cough, cough*… Black Widow), the video game world… and every time a woman strips down for a movie (*cough, cough* Game of Thrones). It’s WHY I protest pole dancing, stripping, and pornography. It dehumanises women and makes them an object just for a man’s pleasure. Sure, women have the right to that vocation… it is their choice; but they’re objectifying themselves and catering to men’s lusts. It hypersexualises a woman just as much as this costume does.
What the fuck did I just read??
1. Everybody and their grandma’s cat claims to be Cherokee
2. Matoaka didn’t choose to marry John Rolfe in real life. She was kidnapped.3. Healing and equality begin with the people that fucked up (read: oppressors) admitting what they did and learning WHY what they did was fucked up.
What the fuck is with idiots claiming we should feel flattered? How about you stop pandering to white people and stop telling us how we should feel?
If some white twit wants to pay me a compliment, they better work to sincerely find out what makes me actually feel honoured. If they really cared, they wouldn’t be stepping all over my people and our culture.
Stop being selfish and racist about this Halloween fake-ass bull.
I just want to state that, I am Native American and Japanese you don’t see me getting all fucking ass hurt for white people or any other colors wanting to go to Japan or liking my culture. It kinda makes me mad but at the same time it’s whatever. Also I see nothing wrong with someone dressing up as anything. The women on the left is dressing like a fucking white person but you don’t see white people getting all pissed. So yeah stfu stop giving our people bad names when it’s our job to be the caring one.P.s I love white women.
You pretendians need to stay the fuck away from my post
There is absolutely no excuse or debating about the harmful affects of cultural appropriation
When an oppressed group tells you that what you’re doing is oppressive and overall UNACCEPTABLE you DO NOT argue over them
Seriously, I don’t give a flying fuck what your BQ is or the fact that your teeth were yanked out for free
Good for you! 👏
THAT DOESN’T MEAN SHIT
A pissed off indigenous woman