I thought we’d take a break today from your regularly scheduled inspiration board programming to discuss something that has come to my attention lately… the Native American themed wedding trend. With Thanksgiving coming up this week I couldn’t help but think of this cultural appropriation.
No Doubt pulled their ‘Looking Hot’ video after accusations of racism (it had a pretty obvious cowboys v. Indians theme to it) and Victoria’s Secret came under fire for using feather headdresses in their latest show and the company apologized for it. And who can forget Urban Outfitter’s ‘Navajo Hipster Panty’ debacle?
Ironically enough, November is Native American Heritage Month.
These are examples of high profile people/brands coming under fire for what the public claims is a trivialization of Native American culture.
But what about wedding blogs? Should we come under the same scrutiny or do we get a free pass because weddings are inherently sweet and most brides don’t walk down the aisle in Navajo hipster panties? I’ve seen countless Native American themed engagement shoots, weddings in teepees, and feather headdresses on brides and I’ve even made an inspiration board with this exact look (and passed it off as ‘bohemian’ to boot).
But here’s the tricky part. Where do we draw the line? Is it ok for someone who isn’t part of the culture to sport a kimono, or a bindi, all of which (Native American headdresses included) have cultural and religious significance? I really haven’t heard of underwear models or musicians or other high profile people getting a public scolding for wearing kimonos or bindis even though both have been used as fashion statements.
So all this brings me back to ‘where do we draw the line?’ I am starting to think that it’s part of America’s guilty conscience at our systematic extermination and removal of Native American populations that causes us to get up in arms over cultural appropriation when it comes to Native American cultures, but not others.
What do you think of this trend with regards to weddings? When you see a bride sporting a Native American look and the blogger passing it off as ‘bohemian’ or ‘hipster’ or ‘indie-chic’ does it make you cringe?
I’m not going to lie and say I don’t love the look, but I am also starting to feel guilty about creating an inspiration board that marginalizes a culture and reduces it to a theme.