Victoria's Secret: "Spitting on Our Culture"

Victoria's Secret has apologized for outfitting a runway model in a Native American-style headdress, leopard-print underwear, turquoise jewelry, and high heels. A Chicago Tribune article explained the significance of a headdress, which may explain why the get-up was called offensive:

Victoria's Secret Headdress"Headdresses historically are a symbol of respect, worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors. For many Plains tribes, for example, each feather placed on a headdress has significance and had to be earned through an act of compassion or bravery. Some modern-day Native American leaders have been gifted war bonnets in ceremonies accompanied by prayers and songs."

A Navajo Nation spokesperson further explained, "Any mockery, whether it's Halloween, Victoria's Secret-they are spitting on us. They are spitting on our culture, and it's upsetting."

The company responded to criticism with a rather generic apology: "We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone." In addition, model Karlie Kloss tweeted her own apology:

  Victoria's Secret

Discussion Starters:

  • As you might expect, not everyone agrees that Victoria's Secret needed to apologize. Online comments suggested that people should "grow a thicker skin" and that "Indians should get over themselves." What's your view?
  • How do you assess Victoria's Secret's apology? Is this enough? If not, what else should the company do or say?