The outrage in the African-American community over the racially offensive “blackface” imagery that has become increasingly present in the media and communities across the world over the past year is usually met with understanding, but what about the same tactic used to imitate other cultures?
Supermodel Heidi Klum, who heads up the German version of “American’s Next Top Model” has been catching a slew of backlash over her recent decision to have the competing models do a Native-American inspired photo shoot, which some viewers felt was racist.
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.
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.
Do you think this imagery of women of other races dressed and made up as Native Americans is racist or offensive? Let’s discuss.