Heidi Klum faces ‘racism’ backlash over ‘redface’ Native American shoot: Germany’s Next Top Model issue apology
Production company behind the TV show has since apologised for causing offence
By Jenn Selby
Outraged fans bombarded the gallery post on her official Facebook page, which showed 12 individual, black-and-white editorial shots of the models in training in full ‘redface’-–the name given to those who pose in stereotyped attempts at traditional Native American dress.
'Here are my beautiful girls!' the title on the post from Klum read.
"Thank you Heidi Klum and GNTM for contributing to the fetishization and hypersexualization of Native Women," one user wrote.
"WOW! That is absolutely disgusting and offensive. Ugly! Racist! Demeaning to our heritage, religion, culture… our nation,” another commented in German.
"By no means was our intention to insult Native Americans or in any way demean their heritage. We sincerely apologize."
By Regina Avalos
Heidi Klum is one of the most beautiful women in the world. This is not the first time she has been in trouble because of a fashion choice though. She caused backlash with her choice of Halloween costume one year when she wore a costume of the Goddess Kali to her yearly Halloween party. Hindu people found the costume offensive, but she 'loved' her costume that year.
This new controversy surrounds a Facebook page post Heidi made back in March that is now only making the rounds of the media outlets. Now that people have noticed the Native American style photos, it is causing big controversy for the model. In the photos, models from the German reality series are posed and photographed as Native Americans.
People are now taking over the Facebook page with comments both supporting the photo shoot and blasting it because of its depiction of Native Americans. Comments have been made since April 9 about the photos and Klum's posting of them. People are not happy, but initial comments to the photos were positive. Now, Klum's photos are being attacked for their content. One commenter called the photos a 'fashion fail.'
And this fascination with all things Native may explain why Heidi chose to incorporate this type of photo shoot into the show, although we don't think it excuses it.
At this point, there's really no reason why cultural appropriation should continue to take place, especially since Native people have raised qualms about it again and again.
It's high time to start listening to them.
Some defend Klum
But a few people didn't quite see the problem. One said Klum couldn't help being ignorant of US history because she was raised in Germany:
Heidi Klum: Bury My Art at Wounded Knee?
By Michael Smith
Certainly Heidi Klum cannot be held completely responsible for the fashion debacle which could be labelled, “Bury my art at Wounded Knee.” Heidi is an American citizen who did not grow up in her adoptive country, and really how many of the younger generation are aware of what horrible things were done in the name of Manifest Destiny, so she can be excused for “her” mistake.
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Then there's this:
Heidi Klum Native American Photo Racist? (PHOTO)
By Beth Owens
They claimed that the doctrine of “racial appropriation” is ludicrous if it prevents someone of a different culture from exploring another. It may be a bit too soon to see if the political incorrect movement has met its Waterloo, but thankfully not everyone has turned against the model. For her part, she has stayed out of the discussion.
Klum and her models aren't "exploring another culture." They're mimicking an ignorant and false notion of what Native culture is. Indians have hundreds of cultures and none of them routinely wear headdresses, don facepaint, or live in tipis today.