November 06, 2013

Tanning salon promotes Indian "color"

Tanning Salon Is Super Thankful Native Americans 'Brought Sexy Color'In honor of Thanksgiving, a chain of tanning salons in Alabama and Florida has launched a holiday-themed ad campaign that is both offensively stupid and stupidly offensive. "The Indians brought more than just 'CORN' to the first Thanksgiving," reads the copy, "they brought SEXY 'COLOR'!" Ugh, the unnecessary quotation marks. Ugh, the insensitivity. Ugh, the idea of indoor tanning. I feel like I'm getting brain cancer.

Club Sun Color Studios offers women who have never heard about how artificial tanning ages your skin and makes you look like an underbasted turkey carcass by the time you're 30 the opportunity for big, big savings this Thanksgiving with this super rad promotion. In addition to both savings and melanoma and that weird cooked skin smell that emanates from tanning salons, the promotion is advertised by a sexy blonde pilgrim and a woman in a Sexy Indian Halloween costume-style getup brought together by the magic of bad photo editing and really, really idiotic cultural appropriation.

As you can see, Sexy Indian is also wearing authentic fringed stilettos, which historians agree is part of the traditional dress of Sexy Indians when they taught Sexy Pilgrims how to tan back in History Days. After the tanning sesh, Sexy Indian and Sexy Pilgrim had a traditional Sexy Girl-On-Girl Makeout To Get The Boys' Attention. Then, the traditional Thanksgiving pube waxing. Then, sexy genocide, and hundreds of years of sexy exploitation of the sexy Indian women's daughters and granddaughters by the descendants of the Sexy Pilgrim, the sexy scars of which still linger to this day in Sexy American culture.

Tanning salon forced to remove Thanksgiving-themed ad for Native American 'sexy skin color' after it is branded 'offensive and tasteless'Reactions to the image have been mixed, with some customers calling its portrayal of a Native American both racist and inappropriate.

'Very poor taste,' wrote one commenter on 'I guess anything for a buck now-a-days.'

Another wrote that the ad was 'completely unacceptable,' as well as 'offensive and tasteless.'
Tanning Salon Promotes 'Indian Color' In Misguided Thanksgiving PromoAs we've seen time and time again, having non-Native American woman dress up as "Indians" in fake fringes, beads and feathers is pretty much always racist and ill-advised, not to mention tacky. Stereotyping Native Americans' skin color, too? Also highly not recommended.Company apologizes...

Tanning salon’s Thanksgiving special: ‘Sexy color’ like Native Americans

By Lisa GutierrezWednesday night, the ad had seemingly disappeared from both the company’s website and Facebook page.

Club Sun’s marketing director David Arnett posted an apology.

“In response to the recent post from, the ad I created showing a Native American and Pilgrim in costume was in no way intended to be offensive or racist,” he wrote. “I sincerely apologize if it offended anyone.

“I myself am Native American and I am very proud of my heritage and skin tone. The thought process behind the ad was simply a play on my own sexy 'color'. Again, I apologize for any offense and misunderstanding.”

Can’t wait to see what they do with those Christmas elves.
...but not really:

AL tanning salon drops Thanksgiving ad touting 'sexy color' of American IndiansVice President of Sales Larry Andrews says the company was promoting its business, which is color. He said that's why he and the owner approved the ad. Andrew believes it was simply taken out of context.

"I mean, it was a very innocent in-house flyer," Andrews told. "I think this day and time people look for something to complain about and something to stir the pot. If they would look for more positive things in life we'd have a much better Thanksgiving and holiday season."
Comment:  What's the context that makes a racist costume not racist? I sure hope it's not the tanning salon's play on the word "color." We took that into account and...sorry, the costume is still racist.

In fact, if the ad had included an authentic Wampanoag Indian dressed in a 1620s style, people might not have complained. Or not as much, anyway. They're complaining primarily about the stereotypical Pocahottie, not the "color" word or concept.

And what does its being an "in-house" ad have to do with anything? First, the company posted it on its Facebook page, which strongly suggests it was meant for public consumption. Second, racism "in house" is just as wrong as racism outside the house. It's wrong, period, wherever it occurs.

Finally, how much do you want to bet marketing director David Arnett has a tiny amount of Cherokee blood, or believes he has? That's a perennial excuse for racist behavior, and it's just as stupid here as elsewhere. Unless you're a member of a Wampanoag tribe, Arnett, you have no business stereotyping Wampanoag Indians.

For more on stereotypical Pocahotties, see Ireland Baldwin Tweets Indian Costume and University Bans Offensive Halloween Costumes.


Anonymous said...

The facebook page has been down since then, which also had one of their employees deriding people for being offended, and making the same stupid comparisons such as how people shouldn't dress as Santa Claus, then, because it might offend privileged white people. They're not sorry at all, except that sorry they got caught.

Rob said...

Right. I bet Larry Andrews the vice president is saying what most of their people are thinking.