December 04, 2012

"Pocahontas" in Gossip Girl

In Stereotypical Thanksgiving TV Promos, I noted that one promo showed Blair Waldorf, a character in Gossip Girl, in an Indian outfit. I thought it was just a promo, but no. Blair shows up in the same outfit in It's Really Complicated (airdate: 11/26/12), the show's Thanksgiving episode.

Blair's beau Chuck has just suffered a personal reversal. He doesn't want to see her, but she sneaks in to comfort him. She's dressed as a "stripper Pocahontas" to seduce him and make him forget his woes.



They exchange these lines:BLAIR: Pocahontas needs her John Smith.

CHUCK: I always thought of myself more as a John Rolfe kind of man.
It's true that Blair is the kind of rich white girl who would dress up as an Indian without thinking about the implications. She's pretty much insensitive to everyone.

But the show fails by not having anyone rebuke her for behavior. By treating it as normal and acceptable, the show makes it normal and acceptable. If a sophisticated socialite can wear this kind of outfit, viewers will think, doing so must be okay for everyone.

Note that Blair makes what we've been saying about these stunts explicit. Namely, that women don't dress up as sexy Indian maidens to honor Natives or Native culture. It's all about using the idea of an exotic "other" as a tool of seduction. In other words, it's about using Native women as sex objects for male gratification.

For more on the subject, see:

Crystle Lightning = Maria Tallchief?
Tasteless Thanksgiving party promotions
Drink's "Sexy Pilgrim & Indian Party"
, Hooters' "Cowgirls and Indians" promotion
Victoria's Secret model in a headdress

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

For the umpteenth time, white people: Pocahontas isn't sexy! She was 12, for God's sake! If you think 12 is sexy, stay the hell away form my children!

Seriously, if I see another "sexy" Indian maiden, I'll puke. (Which, admittedly, is also sexy to some small, disturbed segment of the populace.)

Anonymous said...

Who thikns 12 year-olds are sexy? Only the attire is sexy mate.

Anonymous said...

I thought people have made it sexy.
What sort of a sick person are you? She wore this when she was 20, after being married and giving birth to a son.
Yeah, she was 12, she was also 15, 16, 17 and 18, but to you she was 10, 9 and 11.
My daughter is a nurse and she is now 28, nurse uniforms are seen to be sexy. My daughter was 12 also. What is your point? Thats right you require help.

Libellule said...

She was 12 when what? Everyone was 12 at one point. She was 19 when she married John Rolfe.

Rob said...

If you're referring to me, Anonymous #3, I'm not sure what you're saying. Pocahontas was around 12 when she first encountered the Europeans. She was around 19 when she married John Rolfe.

I'm almost certain she wore an English-style dress during the wedding ceremony and after. We know she didn't wear a "sexy Indian maiden" costume at 20 because she never wore anything like that.

If you think I'm saying it was good of Blair to wear the "stripper Pocahontas" costume, you're sadly mistaken. Read the posting again.