Several of you saw the ultra cultural appropriation performance of performances from Ke$ha on American Idol last Wednesday night - who decided in all her infinite wisdom to come out half-way through her "blah, blah, blah" song in a headdress and her version of "war paint" (I think).
It's obviously racist, ignorant, and beyond silly, but it's also an interesting statement (that I definitely won't give Ke$ha credit for knowing) about mainstream society's imagery of Native women. Not that it's her first time donning Native gear - apparently it's something she does on the regular with different pieces.
In 2008 I wrote about Juliette Lewis and her continued decision to "dress up like an Indian" with her band and what this means in her attempt to appear strong, raw, and yes even "savage" with her music. There are some particular intersections to address when we see women dressed up like this - and it has nothing to do with the fact that these people are of course getting our actual culture, traditions, and teachings all wrong.
So, can I ask what the obsession with Ke$ha is? I only ask, because I too am completely enamored with her while simultaneously holding back the urge to be violently ill. The ‘party girl’ aesthetic and persona is certainly nothing new. From Paris to Lindsay to every other brand of this celebrity girl whose name is synonymous with blackouts and so-called ‘bad behavior" – we’ve seen/heard/and stomached it all. Yet is there something special about this Nashville-bred DIY artist (I, too, wear cowboy boots and rock gaudy gold when the mood strikes me)? The simple answer is ..