Ke$ha has made no secret of her fondness for Native American headdresses; she inexplicably threw one on half way through her American Idol performance a few weeks ago.
In a post on Jezebel, Lisa Wade highlights all the recent examples of fashion appropriating Native American. She sums it up thusly:
All of these cases romanticize Indianness, blur separate traditions (as well as the real and the fake), and some disregard Indian spirituality. They all happily forget that, before white America decided that American Indians were cool, some whites did their absolute best to kill and sequester them. And the U.S. government is still involved in oppressing these groups today.
So, no, it’s not cute to wear a feather in your hair or carry an Indian rug clutch, it’s thoughtless and insensitive.
When I first read the post, I thought that Wade was taking some relatively harmless stylings to an extreme level — though there were certainly examples in her post that were jaw-droppingly offensive (See: OutKast). But after watching Ke$ha’s performance of “Your Love Is My Drug” on last night’s Saturday Night Live, I was won over by her argument.
I have no idea what Ke$ha or her costume designer was thinking when they put together this glow-in-the-dark, neon paintsuit made up of nothing but stereotypical tribal markings — paired, of course, with a halo of feathers — but the result was painful to watch.
What do you think?