Heidi Klum has unusually found herself in some hot water recently. In the German variant of Next Top Model where Klum mentors a group of contestants, a promoted theme was Native American, and the typically much-loved Ultramodel has been getting accosted and highly criticized over the decision.
Posted to her public Facebook page, the gallery of photos in question is open for anyone to see. Comprising the gallery are a series of editorial styled fashion photos in sepia tones, and the models are in various renditions of traditional Native American attire and make-up. The problem is the attire and shoot are striking most as an attempt that merely furthers stereotypes rather than anything else. The term ‘Redface’ is what’s being tossed around.
The comment section is absolutely full of negative remarks, such as this, “ People dress up in stereotypical ‘Indian’ garb, they’re not only denying the existence of 566 distinct Tribal Nations, they’re mocking an entire group of human beings based solely on their race and heritage.”
That’s just the tip of the vehement iceberg, and further outrage hasn’t just been the stereotyped posing and attire, but what many are calling the hypersxualization of Native women.
Interestingly enough the Facebook page has remained up, and doesn’t seem like it will be taken down. Klum has made no public offering of apology or defense. A spokesman for GNTP’s company ProSieben, was quoted telling The Independent on behalf of Heidi and the show:
We have nothing but the utmost esteem for the Native American culture and are so sorry if our shoot was offensive to anyone. By no means was our intention to insult Native Americans or in any way demean their heritage. We sincerely apologize.
Simply put, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. That’s my personal view. Some people are extremely vocal about being offended but by definition that word is derived from a perception – meaning offense is usually tied to a perceived insult. Therefore being offended doesn’t grant anyone any rights. I think there’s certainly room for the argument that the photos should stay as is. Taking them down is almost tantamount to burning books perceived as heresy. Fashion takes its cues from all around, much as many other facets of the art world. Should the receptive and exploratory nature of the creative facility be tamed by those who take offense to anything?
Via: The Idependent