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Furor over Native American Fashion Costume

  1. Nov 13, 2012 #1
    I have become aware of a scandal that has developed in the last couple days regarding a particular costume in the Victoria's Secret fashion show (which happened this week I think), and I was hoping some people could help me understand parts of it. I'll link to pictures of the costume in question at the bottom of my post, but the gist of it is that a model wore a Native American headdress and Native American ornaments as her costume. Since then, there has been a huge reaction to the costume, with allegations of racism causing Victoria's Secret to issue an apology and for the costume to be removed from the line and subsequent airings of the fashion show.

    The thing is, I just don't see why the costume is racist. I've looked into this a bit, and apparently one of the ornaments the model was wearing has religious significance, in which case I understand calling the costume blasphemous, but not racist. Were the costume done in a mocking or satirical way I think I would be much more likely to see racism in it, but seeing as it is not, I just don't see why it is racist.

    I'd love if some people could share their views and help me see what I am not seeing.
    Thank you.


    http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/columns/olivia-bergin/TMG9672704/Victorias-Secret-apologises-over-American-Indian-outfit-in-catwalk-show.html [Broken]
    (I think it's SFW/safe to post on these forums - but considering it is Victoria's Secret I'd take heed)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2012 #2

    berkeman

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    Wooshka!

    What were we talking about again...?
     
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  4. Nov 13, 2012 #3

    Evo

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    People are over sensitive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  5. Nov 13, 2012 #4

    micromass

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    I'm not really seeing the racism here...
     
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  6. Nov 13, 2012 #5

    BobG

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    I'm not quite sure it's correct to say wearing the headdress was racist.

    It was, however, a violation of the customs associated with the headdress.

    This would be similar to if she had instead appeared in a bikini made from a US flag (the US flag should never be used as apparel, bedding, curtains, or as a covering for a ceiling). While a bikini made from a US flag is a violation of customs, it would be an exaggeration to say wearing it would make the model un-American.
     
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  7. Nov 13, 2012 #6
    I'm not going to buy my underwear there anymore.
     
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  8. Nov 13, 2012 #7

    WannabeNewton

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    It isn't racist. This country is filled with over - sensitive cry babies who have no satisfaction in life so they try to make a controversy out of every mundane thing. God bless America.
     
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  9. Nov 13, 2012 #8
    Looks more like an homage to Indians to me.
    Funny how the line between homage and racism is a thin one.
    Yes, but the headdresses are meant to be worn.
     
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  10. Nov 13, 2012 #9
    Not by women apparently, regardless of whether or not that is sexist.

    I'm glad I'm not alone here though.
     
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  11. Nov 13, 2012 #10

    lisab

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    OK to play devil's advocate: What is OK to dress up as, like for Halloween:

    A Chinese peasant farmer?
    A Bedouin?
    An African tribesman?
     
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  12. Nov 13, 2012 #11

    micromass

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    Seems fine to me, actually...
     
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  13. Nov 13, 2012 #12

    WannabeNewton

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    I see nothing wrong in dressing up as any of these things. I would rather see those than the costumes of the hundreds of teenage \ adult women consisting of the most skimpy, inappropriate clothing one can conceive that I usually see. Regardless, in the end it is just clothing and I find it sad the people mentioned in the article make such a big deal out of it. Don't they have anything better to do with their lives?
     
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  14. Nov 13, 2012 #13

    drizzle

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    Ghaddafi. :biggrin:
     
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  15. Nov 13, 2012 #14
    It looks like a nude festival.
    I guess, many American people who are not Native American may consider the native as poor farmers; those with outdated ideas, thoughts, etc. They act as if they never had their past lives, perhaps they would never have any.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  16. Nov 13, 2012 #15

    russ_watters

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    All of those are fine because there are few enough in the US that they are unlikely to complain.
     
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  17. Nov 13, 2012 #16

    Curious3141

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    Funny how noone seems to take offence that they're *still* referred to (and often referring to themselves) as "Indians".

    One of my favourite quotes is from the movie "Quiz Show": "They're "Indians" because some white guy got lost." :biggrin:
     
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  18. Nov 13, 2012 #17

    lisab

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    So it seems no one has any issue so far. Let's take it a bit further, as a thought experiment.

    A Chinese peasant farmer - would you use those fake teeth cartoonists used to portray people of Asian decent in the 1950s? Would you alter your eyes?

    A Bedouin - would you make reference to having a harem of women, or a bunch of camels? Would you joke about being illiterate?

    An African tribeman - would you darken your skin? Wear a grass skirt and carry a spear?
     
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  19. Nov 13, 2012 #18

    DavidSnider

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    I think it's more along the lines of the "American Flag Bikini" mentioned earlier. It's not about racism, it's about know-nothing corporations trivializing something culturally important.

    For example, if they had a "Sexy Nun" costume the Catholic League would throw a fit.
     
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  20. Nov 13, 2012 #19
    I didn't notice a single mention of the word racism in the whole article.

    But, just some people found it offensive which I find reasonable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2012
  21. Nov 13, 2012 #20

    Integral

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    The super intendent of schools in Oregon has ruled that there can be no Native American references in High School mascots and name. My high school teams the Roseburg Indians, must change its name.
     
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