Complementary or objectified? How images of American Indian women are used in American advertising

Activity: Other activity typesOther


The romanticized image of American Indian women wearing a thigh high buckskin dress and being one with nature is prominent on the supermarket shelves. In the early colonial days pictures of the “uncivilized” Indian were necessary to perpetuate the myth of the Indigenous population as immoral, lower class citizens who needed to be taught Christian morals. Today, the images are gimmicks used to convince the consumer that they are buying authentic organic goods. Advertising is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Nothing in advertising is accidental. Images of American Indian women are used in American advertising today because the images sell products. But, where did these images originate? Do the images objectify women? And is there any harm in using these images? This paper will prove that current American Indian imagery objectifies women and keeps American Indian people trapped in the past, thus perpetuating the American government’s treatment of Indigenous people in the United States - American Indian people as wards to the American government.
Degree of RecognitionInternational