Innapropriate cultural appropriation

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I'm seeing more and more use of Native American headdresses and face paint on Pixoto (primarily on Indonesian models). The models are beautiful, the technique is excellent. HOWEVER the use of the headdress and paint in this manner is inappropriate cultural appropriation that is extremely disrespectful and offensive to Native Americans. With these images Pixoto is allowing a cultural and racial imagery slur that is akin to posting images of black faced anglo models. I don't believe that Pixoto would allow black faced models and I fail to understand why you allow this. An actual Native American in costume for something like a dance competition would be fine, but what I'm seeing is not. - Ron Meyers (Creek-Muscogee)
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Ron

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Posted 6 years ago

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Andy Morgan

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I do not think that the images are inappropriately racial. I think that the are done in admiration of the beauty of another cultural. They are not depicting anything rude or obscene. I would be proud to have another cultural admire my cultural so much that they dress like mine. I love this quote "Imitation is the highest form of flattery" by Charles Caleb Colton. Not saying that this quote is true all the time but in this case I would. This kind of racial art is only racism when you look at things negatively.
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Ron

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Andy, you twisted my use of the word "Anglo" as a point to justify your argument because I didn't use the word Caucasian or White. Really? Just for info Webster defines Anglo as "a white person who lives in the U.S. and is not Hispanic".

You question whether I have an issue with Asians. While this is clearly an attempt to draw attention away from the issue at hand and deflect it back at me I will answer your question. I am lucky to have a number of good friends who are from various Asian cultures of which I admire and respect. The difference is that if I wanted to show my admiration of their culture through the "art" of photography I would attempt to do it in a more authentic and respectful manner. If I were informed that I wasn't doing so I would discontinue whatever it was I was doing that was offensive.

You make a good point about the amount of time it's taken me to complain. Yes, it's taken me a long time to speak up. Much too long. You see just because people are silent about something doesn't mean it's right. And telling people they are being overly sensitive and taking it too personal (because it is personal) doesn't make you right. And hiding racial in-sensitivities behind a label of "it's art" is just flat wrong.
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Andy Morgan

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Frist you used the word anglo not capitalized, that does mean what I stated in my last post. Second Anglo capitalized means a white American of non-Hispanic descent, as distinguished especially from an American of Spanish descent. Third the word Anglo in Latin is a prefix meaning English. You misused the word anglo for Caucasians. Not all Caucasians are white Americans. Now you using it to single out whites that live in U.S. As if they all are and the only ones that are racist in that way. If anything your twisting you own words to defend yourself. As for bringing up Asians. I was not attempting to draw attention away from the issue at hand but to show that you can be racially offensive and not even know it. The issue at hand is people being racially offensive right. You brought up Asians in your response to Ralph before anyone, You have single out four deferent groups now in a negative way. These four, Indonesian, Caucasians, Asians and whites in the U.S. I wish you would have used deferent words so not to single out certain groups as being racial. Next, as for someone showing their admiration for another through art its kind of hard to figure out what's right and wrong when some say it ok and other do not. My guess(opinion) though is that they didn't research the matter before using it, just like you did not research the word anglo. I never said I was right about you being to sensitive its was my opinion. I'm going to stay with my opinion. In conclusion I'm sorry that it offends you to see non Native Americans in headdress. But do not think it should. I say that because things like your statement " but this is not about a snapshot of kids playing cowboys and Indians". If its ok for kids to wear headdresses, its ok for anyone. If not, Why is ok then to teach kids that it ok? Everyone has racism in them if they know it or not. We are all taught it.
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Ron

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Andy again you make another valiant attempt to deflect from the main issue by making inferences and extrapolating it into something much larger than it is.

There is a huge difference between mentioning people by race in a descriptive manner. That in itself is not racism. Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races (in short stereotyping).

To be perfectly clear and succinct the issue is that these images extend a stereotype that is based on historical racism. It is offensive to Native Americans and disrespectful if doing so (or defending it) when you are aware that it is offensive and why.

The use of models who are not Native American and cultural artifacts such as fake headdresses, war paint, ect. only serve to build on that stereotype in a way that negatively reflects on Native Americans. Make no mistake Native Americans are proud of their heritage. We just don't like to see it abused.
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Andy Morgan

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Frist I was taking the issue to light, now making to big. That's ironic. Next in your Frist post your describing three of the races indelicately as being racist. In most regions of the world being racist makes one inferior. So does that make the racial art your taking about make you the inferior or superior? I'm going to assume you think your the inferior one. But your being superior. You need to stop living in the past. Forgive and move to the future. History is history things have changed. The reason I'm defending this racial art are. I'm trying not living in the past. I truly believe that this art was done in admiration. I found your post to be very hypocritical. Do not see anything in this art that is depicting anything rude or obscene if anything it shows the beauty of the Native American cultural. As I said before racial art is only racism if you look at it negatively. If your so against racism stop being superior and stop claiming to be inferior.
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Woodstock

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Personally I would like to believe it was done in admiration of the culture, but sadly I don't. Secondly I would be very cautious about suggesting someone "stop living in the past" and making the statement *history is history things have changed* The reason things have changed is because people continue to stand up for what they believe is right. Ron has made very valid points - he is not being confrontational, he is simply explaining why he feels the way he does, and backing it up with historical data which seems perfectly sensible. There are no claims on superiority, nor does it come across that way - in fact he has argued his point quite respectfully....
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Lenore

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Ron, I agree with you. I have been uncomfortable with those images too, but could never seem to find the right words to explain why. I think you've expressed yourself very well.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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I do not disagree that the images could be considered to be inappropriate or offensive, and Ron, I'm very sorry that you find content on Pixoto offensive.

That said - we do not have a policy against offensive images. Some of the greatest art in history has been offensive to many people and we do not feel that we should sensor art unless it is absolutely necessary. We will remove images that promote hate (i.e. non-newsworthy images of the KKK or Nazis) or illegal practices (i.e. cock fighting) or are pornographic. However - I do not feel that it is the intention of these photographers to promote racism or hate and therefore we will not remove them. You are more than welcome however to let the photographers know that you are offending by commenting on the images.

I hope this helps.
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After Oz

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Here's the first photo you should comment on since it is in the top 10 photos of all time:
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
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Ron

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Thanks After Oz.
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Ralph Harvey

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Now that is a great image and well deserving its place in the top 10.................only shame is that as it almost certainly one a cash prize for 1st in the week it breaks the " cultural appropriation for the purpose of winning awards" rule that was banded at the start of this discussion !
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After Oz

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That great image is of an Indonesian man in a Native American headdress and those Americans who made nice comments on the picture might have been rather taken aback had they seen where the photo came from. You're right it is a darned good photo but in my opinion, through anonymity, the tog won based on the North American's belief that the Native Americans are due an enormous amount of respect. In other words, he scammed his way to the top based on Americans intense respect for heroes in our country. Would you in ethical retrospect feel at all good about abusing another culture's beliefs in order to gain monetarily.
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After Oz

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Deleted the above comment because I accidentally posted twice. Sorry.
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After Oz

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We could go one step further and say that the challenge wherein the only requirement is that it be the backside of a woman (I think it's called "best female butt") is just as offensive. Cheesy nudity (there are some very nice nude images out there - I'm talking those cheesy shots), fake Indians, the use of cultural props by a different culture, all in an attempt to sway the vote are all offensive. It isn't ART - it is commercialism at its very worst. But as Jason said, those type of photos aren't internationally frowned upon and I'm hoping that the minority of thoughtful and respectful people will come out of the closet on this site and rule Pixoto some day!!
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Woodstock

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Well I did comment on that challenge - and I got a rude response posted on one of my images!!!!!
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After Oz

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The butt challenge? Oh, man, I hope they didn't comment on your butt!
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Woodstock

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Hahaha! No - he wrote on one of my pictures of a cat *This is pointless and boring" What a t*sser....

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