July 20, 2008

Pageant contestant = sexy chief

Aboriginal designer calls Miss Universe Canada’s 2008 costume “offensive”Wearing a Cree-inspired, fringed leather bikini encrusted with rhinestones and a feathered war bonnet, the woman representing Canada at the Miss Universe pageant 2008 in Vietnam appeared before more than one billion global TV viewers on July 13. Samantha Tajik, 26, who was born in Iran, grew up in Vancouver, and now lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Yesterday, however, one of Canada’s foremost aboriginal designers called Tajik’s national costume “offensive.” Dorothy Grant told the Georgia Straight that sexualizing the war bonnet is tantamount to sexualizing another cultures’ spiritual symbol.

“A war bonnet to Cree people or the Prairie Indian people, it’s a sacred thing,” she said. “It’s used in ceremonies, in peace treaties, used in official addresses. It’s not used as a costume to walk on a stage with a deer-skin bikini.”
Comment:  Apparently Ms. Tajik didn't read this Stereotype of the Month entry: Miss USA Dresses as Scantily-Clad Chief in Faux Warbonnet. Now Miss Universe Canada will join Miss USA as a permanent example of stereotyping.

For more on the subject, see The Big Chief and Indian Women as Sex Objects.


Unknown said...

I am glad people really don't care about this.

Rob said...

Who says people don't care about this? What are you basing that on?

Not on the lack of comments, I hope. A lot of my postings don't get comments, but the blog's traffic remains substantial. People are seeking this information whether they comment on it or not.

Anyway, the point isn't to get outraged over these stereotypes. The point is to note their presence and learn from them. That's what people are doing, I trust.