Indian Country 52 #51 – Genocide Aesthetic
“…And Native appropriation continues to evolve in ever more bizarre ‘fashion.’
Apparently putting scantily clad white women in warbonnets is losing its shock value, because designers are moving into a new phase of cultural assassination, in hopes of making genocide doubly lucrative.
Imagine my horror this morning, upon discovering Ralph Lauren’s latest venture. Let’s call it Assimilation Era Chic.”
– Last Real Indians, Assimilation Aesthetic.
“Ralph Lauren clothing maker has sparked the furor of Native American groups over an ad seen so offensive that it’s been dubbed “the genocide aesthetic” in a critical tweet.
The advertisement features what appears to be a stoic Native American dressed in Western wear. Ruth Hopkins, a writer for the Last Real Indians website, said the images were ignorant and reminded of a time of oppression — even genocide, CNN reported.
“What many people alive today fail to realize is natives of the assimilation era wore western clothes because they were forced to do so,” she wrote, referring to the attempt to “Americanize” the indigenous people, CNN said.
She said Ralph Lauren ought to pull the ads and started a new hashtag — #BoycottRalphLauren — to help further her point.
Others in the Native American community were outraged, too.
“@RalphLauren My relatives were taught that our cultures had no value in the era you glorify,” wrote one with the handle of @EmmyNawjoopinga, CNN reported. “#StopCulturalGenocide #BoycottRalphLauren.””
– CBC News, Ralph Lauren slammed for Native American ad dubbed ‘genocide aesthetic’.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #51 – Genocide Aesthetic (Ralph Lauren).
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
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This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.