With every approaching holiday we start expecting a rise in Instagram and YouTube inspirations from different parts of the world. Aspiring chefs start breaking up holiday recipes, celebrity stylists put up perfect party looks and beauty bloggers, well, they help us put those cool looks with experimentative make-up. We have enough beauty inspirations within our own country but we love to explore outside our boundaries because let’s accept it, we respect diversity and we are curious. But if you are into Native American-inspired make-up that is pushed out every year by vloggers and bloggers, you know it's not all that authentic.
As much as we enjoy watching these videos, the lack of diversity puts us off and JJ Smith, a.k.a. Sailor J on YouTube agrees with us wholeheartedly. In fact, in her recent video, she directly addressed the women who flagrantly rip off Native American culture.
Her video has been aptly titled as “How To Do Thanksgiving Makeup That Has Nothing To Do With The 566 Federally Recognized Tribes” where she does her own Thanksgiving themed make-up in her own style.
She sarcastically mentions that her look is inspired by Pocahontas (who was a real person and was brutally murdered) because “Disney is so f***in' accurate with its cultural depictions.”
“Every six seconds, a white woman on YouTube does a Native-inspired makeup look when it has NOTHING to do with Native culture,” she added.
Smith shared with Revelist, "There are a lot of racists on YouTube spewing the n-word or calling me a wetback. The craziest is that I'm being called a racist for pointing out that the majority of women who do these looks on YouTube are white — even though I said our entire country is guilty of appropriating, a lot of white folks couldn't see past the word 'white.'"
It feels great to be represented in the right way on every available platform and Smith gets it. She has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback. Some celebrations have different meanings for different cultures and Thanksgiving is one of them. While for some, it’s a day to eat turkey, lots of gravy and pies, for American-Indian culture, it’s a day of mourning. It’s about time we start respecting everyone’s perspective.
If you haven’t already, you should certainly check out her amalgamation of laughter and racial issues in her video.
More power to you.