What's rude about this? The headdress
Victoria's Secret is the latest label to offend Native Americans. Gillian Orr wonders why the US has trouble respecting its own
Funnily enough, the Victoria's Secret show, which sees some of the world's most beautiful women saunter down a runway in sparkly underwear, received plenty of attention last week. But it wasn't always for the right reasons. The Native American community was outraged to see model Karlie Kloss sport a leopard-print bikini, turquoise jewellery, and a floor-length headdress. Headdresses are traditionally worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors as a symbol of respect, the feathers earned through acts of compassion or bravery.
"We have gone through the atrocities to survive and ensure our way of life continues," Navajo Nation spokeswoman Erny Zah told an interviewer. "Any mockery, whether it's Halloween, Victoria's Secret – they are spitting on us. They are spitting on our culture, and it's upsetting." Victoria's Secret promptly apologised, promising to remove Kloss's controversial outfit from future broadcasts and any promotional material, saying it "had no intention to offend anyone".
The lingerie company can't have been paying much attention. The on-going trend of Native American culture being appropriated by fashion has seen a number of ranges pulled from stores. When will they learn?
In October, Gap withdrew a line of T-shirts with the slogan "Manifest Destiny", a reference to the 19th-century belief held by Americans that they should expand across the continent, which resulted in the occupation and annexation of Native American land.
Last year, Urban Outfitters came under fire for using "Navajo" to describe and market a collection of products, knocking off the aesthetic (not to mention trademark) of an actual Native American tribe. The tribe filed a lawsuit in February.
And it's not just fashion that's at it. Last week, No Doubt pulled their video for "Looking Hot", which featured Gwen Stefani looking like she had dressed up in one of those Halloween "sexy Native American" outfits. In it she sings, "Do you think I'm looking hot? Do you think this hits the spot?" No, Gwen. Just no.
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 5 Muslim women's rights campaigner writes heartfelt letter to girls thinking of joining Isis
Ukraine crisis: Putin will cut gas to Europe unless Russia is paid by the end of the week
Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Missing Mexico teachers: Protests organised by union quashed in violent police crackdown
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we now know about man named as Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Ukraine crisis: 'One miscalculation, and Britain faces an existential threat to our whole being...'
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...