I believe this website was the first to report it:
Christina Fallin appreciates Native American culture and other beautiful things…
Yesterday, Christina Fallin was “overseeing” a photo shoot as part of her new gig as a “marketing consultant” for So6ix magazine. During the shoot, she posted the following photo on Instagram:
That’s pretty awful, but on a positive note, at least she wasn’t chugging whiskey or rolling around on the ground mumbling “Tatonka.” I’m sure both crossed her mind. At least she showed some restraint.
After we sent the tweet, people showered the out-of-touch, affluent, attention craving white poser who lacks any self-awareness of the real world with a whole lot of attention. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the “Oh My Gawd, you’re so creative Christinahhhh. I love youuu!” praise that she’s used to receiving from all her hipster friends and So6ix magazine cronies. They were more of the “Hey, you’re an insensitive racist bitch” variety.
Obviously, the negative comments got Christina’s attention. She issued a statement about it this morning, but instead of apologizing, taking responsibility and showing any sort of remorse, she and her boyfriend simply used the pic as an opportunity to promote their awful band and justify the situation with some sort of “holier than thou” philosophical, stoned college student bullshit. It’s one of the most ridiculous, out-of-touch things I’ve ever read.
Check it out:
I'm surprised Fallin left the posting up for six or whatever hours. And engaged with her critics, however poorly.
I was one of those who chimed in with criticism. Eventually, she took down the faux-pology and the critical comments disappeared with it.
Story goes wide
Many people noted the irony of Fallin's wearing an Indian headdress while her mother governs the state formerly known as Indian Territory. For that reason, I think, the story got more coverage than headdress stories usually do. It took off after the Associated Press reported on it:
Daughter of Okla. Governor Defends headdress photo
By Kristi Eaton
Those videos were removed from the magazine's website after some people said they were distasteful. Christina Fallin issued a statement at that time saying she was thrilled to be a part of the magazine.
The 26-year-old Fallin is currently a marketing consultant for and appears in another local magazine that features fashion trends, health tips and beauty advice. She is also part of a local band that describes itself as "electronic-punk."
In the past few weeks, she's also posted several photos from events with her mother: first one from the State of the State speech at Oklahoma's capitol and others from Washington, D.C., while at the National Governor's Association meeting.
The picture of the headdress quickly drew negative comments on Fallin's social media profiles, many of which were then deleted. Headdresses, historically worn by Native American warriors who received feathers for heroic deeds, are considered sacred items and are still used for some ceremonies.
Gov. Mary Fallin is the one who signed away the rights to Baby Veronica, and who won't fund a museum for Oklahoma's Indians. Her daughter has appeared on the campaign trail with her and probably has similar beliefs. If this is the Fallins' attitude toward Indians, it's no wonder some Indians are sorry they supported Mary Fallin.
A couple of critics nailed the problems with the photo and the faux-pology:
I’m a Native American Banned from Commenting on Cultural Appropriation by Pink Pony
By Frances Danger
Pink Pony is currently riding a wave of national publicity for this stunt (and a stunt it is). Pink Pony willfully and knowingly appropriated Native culture then silenced, and continues to silence, Native voices when it does not fit their particular narrative of how they wish to be perceived. This is an issue not only of appropriation, but entitlement and institutional racism. Pink Pony feel that they are somehow entitled to use this culture because “pretty” overshadows the very real and very damaging disrespect shown to Native culture and ideals. If Pink Pony truly had respect for Native culture and saw them as people and not as props they would listen to the feedback, accept help to further their education, and issue a heartfelt and appropriate apology. Additionally, banning Natives from the discussion is indicative of their mindset in regards to Natives, i.e. “It’s ok for me to wear your pretty headdress and feel picked on when you don’t take it the right way so you should shut up about it and let me do what I want.” Pretty it up all you want, but marginalizing and silencing Natives regarding issues of their own cultural heritage is nothing short of racism.
There is no room for debate where Pink Pony is concerned. Instead there is their canned press release and condescending and responsibility dodging answers to current comments on their page, stating they don’t see race or gender, which ultimately dismisses and once again marginalizes the culture they are profiting from. It’s like someone gave them a book on how to act during a PR crisis and they chose to do the opposite. I’d laugh if it weren’t so sad.
As usual, Adrienne Keene knocked it out of the park in her Native Appropriations blog:
Dear Christina Fallin
Then you released your “apology,” an “apology” which never actually apologizes, and instead says this:
Comment: For more on the subject, see Crystle Lightning in a Headdress and Why Hipster Headdresses Aren't Okay.