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Hey White Girls: My Culture Isn’t an Edgy Tattoo Trend!

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo of a white girl in a Native headdress, perhaps you would consider thinking again.

Not only is it offensive to Native people such as myself, where within my own tribe I don’t even have the honour to wear such a headdress, but it’s so much worse than wearing one because you can’t just take it off when you realise your wrongdoing: it will be on your body forever.

Not only is it permanent, it is an irreversible misconception. Why are you getting a tattoo of a white girl, of all people, in a Native headdress? It portrays our traditional, honourable attire as a fashion statement that you’re tattooing on yourself to suit your aesthetic. Newsflash, cultural appropriation isn’t an aesthetic, it’s just offensive.

You’re not native, the girl in your tattoo isn’t native, and my culture is not an edgy fashion trend for you to portray on your body to seem peaceful and deep.”

These tattoos are like appropriation-ception, because not only are you appropriating my culture by getting such a tattoo, but you’re getting a tattoo of someone else appropriating said culture.
Every time I see a tattoo like this I get sick to my stomach. You’re not native, the girl in your tattoo isn’t native, and my culture is not an edgy fashion trend for you to portray on your body to seem peaceful and deep. Your people slaughtered my people and are currently robbing us of what little remains of our land to spill oil into our water, yet you’re suddenly okay with our culture when it’s being portrayed on by a white girl on a white girl’s skin? It’s sickening, it’s offensive, and you just shouldn’t do it.

Before you run around screaming about how you’re 1/16th Cherokee on your great grandmother’s dog’s neighbour’s side, just remember the absolute hell that your ancestors and your people put my ancestors and my people through. Think about how you would feel if you had genocide committed against you and your people only to have it reversed and turned into a social media trend hundreds of years later. You don’t know our suffering, our culture, our heritage, you don’t know us, so don’t steal what will never be yours just to make a fashion statement out of us.

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