April 10, 2014

Alessandra Ambrosio in a headdress

'Becoming more inspired for Coachella': Makeup-free Alessandra Ambrosio dons massive Native American headpiece for selfie

By Sarah Bull and Helen ZhaoAlessandra Ambrosio didn’t become a world renowned supermodel for nothing.

The 32-year-old showed she can make anything look good as she donned a massive Native American headpiece in a new snap she shared on Instagram Wednesday.

The Victoria’s Secret Angel captioned it, ‘Becoming more inspired for @coachella with this amazing Native American headpiece @jacquieaiche #feathers #festival #coachella #foreveronvacation #inspiration #cocar’

The headdress with its protruding feathers framed Alessandra’s chiselled make-up free face, as she gazed with a smouldering expression at the camera.

The Daily Mail didn't get the significance of this act, but others did:

Supermodel Uses Sacred Headdress to Get Totally Stoked for CoachellaBrazilian Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio has courted controversy with an Instagram photo of herself wearing a massive feather headdress.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a music festival that takes place this weekend and next in Indio, California, is the biggest event of its kind. Native culture-watchers have also come to know it as ground zero of appropriation thanks to attendees' fondness for Native headdress--or "hipster headdress." Blogger Adrienne Keene brought up the trend in 2010 in a post titled "The Hipster Headdress Abounds at Coachella", which was cited the following year in a thread on the Coachella discussion board: "Hipsters In Headdresses; Don't Be That Guy."

It's also interesting to note that one might expect Ambrosio, as a Victoria's Secret model, to be more sensitive--she was one of the models who took the stage for the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion show in which Karlie Kloss wore a controversial feather headdress. Native protests ensued, and Kloss's turn on the catwalk in faux regalia was ultimately edited out of the TV broadcast.
Alessandra Ambrosio Causes Controversy With Native American Headdress Instagram PhotoWhen will the fashion industry learn that dressing models up as Native Americans only leads to controversy and backlash? Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio is the latest to draw criticism from anti-racism advocates for a photo of herself in a Native American headdress posted to Instagram.

Many outraged fashion watchers left comments on the photo criticizing Ambrosio for wearing the headdress, citing cultural appropriation and disrespect to Native Americans, for whom the headdress has spiritual significance and means much more than a Coachella accessory.

“If you had any knowledge of the culture, you would know how disrespectful this is,” one commenter wrote.

“Please don’t. Be a role model and don’t mock Native American cultures by wearing a headdress. Please think about the people you’re hurting wearing this. Please do not wear this anywhere,” wrote another.
Alessandra Ambrosio Wears Native American Headdress

By Madelyn ChungNot again! Alessandra Ambrosio is the latest celebrity to sport a Native American headdress as a fashion accessory.

The Victoria's Secret Angel (who turns 33 on April 11) wore the traditional headpiece in honour of The Coachella Arts and Music Festival (which coincidentally starts on the supermodel's birthday), posting a photo of it on her Instagram account.

She may be misguided, but she's right on trend as far as Coachella goes. Festival-goers are often seen sporting the Native American headpieces, which have been deemed the "hipster headdress."

The fashion world also has a bad reputation for using these sacred "war bonnets" as stylish accessories. H&M's offering was quickly pulled from Canadian shelves last year after receiving complaints from customers, and most recently, supermodel Heidi Klum received flak for dressing up her "Project Runway" contestants in "red face" and a feathered headpiece for a photo shoot.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Heidi Klum's Redface Photo Shoot and Cher in a Headdress, Again.

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