Here we go again – another celebrity has ‘found inspiration’ in a culture that does not belong to them and used it to their advantage. Gwen Stefani debuted her new single on The Voice last night in what can only be described as a complete appropriation of Native American culture. From her hair and jewellery to her dancers’ body paint, it’s pretty clear what ‘inspired’ the singer.
And no, it’s not the first time she’s done something like this. In the early to mid 2000s she based her image on her Harajuku Girls. They followed her everywhere, on and off stage, and were reportedly contractually obligated to only speak Japanese in public. She’s not the only celebrity guilty of this – Katy Perry straight up dressed like a Geisha on stage at the American Music Awards and Selena Gomez wore a bindi and a sari to perform at the MTV Movie Awards, just to name a couple of offences. Despite the criticism they each received, stars continue to make the same ignorant mistake.
In fact, Stefani has been criticized for appropriating Native American culture in past. Back when she was still with No Doubt, they released a video for “Looking Hot” in which she wore a feather plume and a lot of leather fringe. The band apologized “to the Native American community and anyone else offended by this video,” saying “as a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures”.
So despite Stefani’s extensive experience with backlash associated with cultural appropriation, she still chose to steal Native American culture on The Voice.
It’s really getting old, Gwen.
Image credit: Instagram