Innapropriate cultural appropriation

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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  • Jasenka (Official Rep) March 28, 2014 19:03
    Thank you Ron for pointing this out, I will forward it to the management.
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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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    • 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.
    • 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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  • This reply was removed on 2014-03-28.
    see the change log
  • 3
    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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  • Well i think they have gone out to a fancy dress shop bought a head dress and worn it, just as any person "dressing up" would
    We can read too much into a situation for the wrong reasons if we try hard enough the point is why are we trying to look for the wrong

    if my kids wore it and i took a picture of them playing would that be offensive ?

    And as for the subject of " cultural appropriation for the purpose of winning awards" i notice there are several what might be called genuine versions in the head dress challenge, i suppose they are ok because they are worn by the correct people ?
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    • for what it is worth, I also agree with Ron Meyers. this is disrespectful of the People and their culture.
    • If its so offensive then ban all use of Tribal head wear so there is no bias towards one culture over another.
      But then we would have to ban all cultural head wear in case we offend some one ? and maybe we should also ban cultural uniform and dress in case it offends........ but what about religious uniform or wear dreadlocks are part of a rastafarian religion but not all people who wear them are rastafarian, and servicemen/women, the firemen and police who have such pride in there uniform and what it means to them so may be we need to ban any one dressing in there uniform or head wear ?????

      Sorry Ron i dont mean to be offensive and sorry if it seems like i am but the point is just how far do you take a point before it offends all
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  • 1
    I totally agree - the way that they are used on models (for want of a better word) is offensive, and cheesy - I usually skip these duels because they are completely cringe-worthy. The images depict these women in a very negative light.

    Pictures of pouting doe-eyed young women in headdresses, head-scarves and posing for studio shots need their own category imho - just like flowers have theirs.......
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  • For that reason i agree but that is not a cultural reason there is too much as you put it "doe-eyed young women in headdresses, head-scarves and posing for studio shots"
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  • But you don't see the site flooded with images of people caressing bibles and rosaries now, do you????? Or monks fiddling suggestively with their crucifixes for that matter..........
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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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  • 3
    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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  • 1
    If you are too sensitive to your cultural background, then you have no place in Photography. Those images were not offensive nor disrespectful based on our current norm as an interconnected society. We're no longer in the old ages. Pixoto is doing the right thing.
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    • If that is under nudes & boudoir category, then there's nothing wrong with that. How's that differ from one wearing only underwear with american flag design? Will it offend Muslims? Of course because that is nudity! Even the slightest of exposed skin from a woman is offensive to them!
    • My guess is that any decent photography worth his/her salt would not even begin the entertain the thought of posting an image of a model, in Islamic garb, exposing her flesh - because it's offensive. As I said before - you don't see the site flooded with images of people caressing bibles and rosaries, or monks fiddling suggestively with their crucifixes - because it's offensive. Claiming that these images of women posing as Native American women is not offensive, is culturally ignorant ..............
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  • 2
    There isn't one person here who can tell somebody what they should or shouldn't find offensive or disrespectful; we are all free to have our own beliefs and we also have the right to express them.

    Pixoto's owners have the right to approve or disapprove the images that appear on this site, but neither they nor anyone else can tell somebody how they should think or run their life. We can share our opinons but once we start telling others that they are wrong if they don't think exactly like we do, we've crossed a line.....history has shown that to be a very scary line.

    Yes, we are a multicultural society now. Funny, but I thought that meant we had more respect for each other, not less.
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    So telling others that their images were offensive because it's doesn't conform to someone else's cultural beliefs or practices is actually also crossing the line? I agree that we can't tell others on what they should or shouldn't find offensive because it's their right, but we can't also tell others on what is appropriate and what is not based on our cultural preferences. Restricting one's imagination has no room in photography -- much more cultural accommodations.
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    • Thank you Joyce and Lenore.
    • Ron - let's not forget - for many people - ignorance is bliss ;-)
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  • Selective cultural insensitivity just to prove your point is bias. If you depict a rennaissance man as someone barbaric or evil is more offensive (but I don't think it is) than a woman wearing an indian head dress. Wake up! Look around your images first before you look on other's work.

    http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
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    • Lenore, thank you for pointing out Jason's comments. It's obvious there are strong opinions on both sides of the issue. I had hoped that common sense would prevail and that people would see the hurt these images do to propagate stereotypes of Native Americans. I should have realized that in the words of Will Rogers, “Common sense ain't common.”

      I'm really not the type of person that will argue a point for the sake of arguing. I've presented my case as well as I am able. If people don't understand or want to understand then no amount of arguing will change their opinion. I pray that as people we will one day find a way to be respectful of one another's culture and heritage.

      I'm signing off this thread. Goodnight.
    • You're welcome, Ron. I think this thread has probably run its course.
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    My opinion is that they only use the headdress to win...because they almost always do...I personally, will always vote for the other picture when the duels present themselves to me. And I do find it offensive...Just for the record. Also, the photographers who submit these images are generally Asian, as well as the models, and generally are the ones that seem to have several accounts with all the same models (yes, most of us legitimate submitters realize this goes on all the time on here)...go figure. Personally, I've cut way back on my pixoto because after being here a couple of years I realize all the cheating that goes on...and it pisses me off constantly. I was a Pixoto addict...really...but now I'm so busy with actual paid work I've cut way back. Anyway, back to the original point-I find the headdresses offensive...and I am 1/4th native American, although it doesn't show in my face....at least I don't think so...
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