Fierce

Dior Releases Insensitive Indigenous Fragrance Ad Featuring #MeToo Accused Johnny Deep Speaking For An Indigenous Dancer

Update: Dior announced over the weekend that it pulled its campaign for the fragrance Sauvage after complaints of racism.

We honestly thought Dior had learned its lesson. Less than a year after the Parisian brand released an insensitive cultural ad starring Jennifer Lawrence in which she wore Mexican-inspired fashions, the high-luxe company is at it again. Months ago, Dior was completely open about the fact that Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri has a love affair with Mexican culture, and that’s totally okay, but why not celebrate Mexico by using Mexican models?

Now they’re doing it again, but it’s worse.

Dior released a new advertisement for their fragrance Sauvage, and the aesthetic is full-on Native American-themed.

The brand released the images and videos on social media, which shows Indigenous dancer, and member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe,  Canku One Star. The imagery is stunning and vibrant. Canku One Star dances while wearing traditional Native American attire on top of the mountainous plain.

The problem with this is that people haven’t forgotten that Dior is a FRENCH brand ( a country that colonized the North Americas and excessively abused Indigenous people). Also, we haven’t forgotten that tiny part about what the brand did with the Mexican-inspired collection that featured zero Mexican models either.

The brand was already expecting the backlash clearly because, on their Instagram page, they were very particular about their wording.

“An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory,” they stated on Instagram. “A film developed as a close collaboration between the House of Dior and Native American consultants from the 50-year old Indigenous advocacy organization, @americansforindianopportunity in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values and heritage.

Okay, so they had approval, but then it got worse.

The ad also features the one and only Johnny Depp.

Jean-Baptiste Mondino directs the film that shows Depp wearing his traditional “rock star” look that comes with a cowboy hat, walking around the Canyonlands, in Utah — home to the Utes and Apaches tribes. Depp isn’t alone in the ad because he is being spied on by a Native woman, played by model Tanaya Beatty.

Now, before you freak out, Beatty is actually of Native American descent as well. The Canadian model and actress is part of the Da’Naxda’xw Nation indigenous people of British Columbia, Esquire reports. Then Depp finds a guitar and because he is a musician begins to play portions of a song called “Rumble,” written by Link Wray, who is also a descent of Native American people.

Depp is celebrating Native American culture but just a reminder he is a white man from Kentucky. Even if he was adopted in his later age by a Native American woman.

Yes, Depp’s “adoptive” mother is indeed LaDonna Harris of the Comanche people. La Donna and her daughter, Laura Harris, are the president and executive director of the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) organization. They are the same group that was consulted for the ad. However. It is important to note that Depp became adopted as an honorary son by Harris in 2012. The same exact year, and during, his promotion of the controversial film The Lone Ranger, in which he was seen playing the part of an Indigenous person. What’s more, while Depp was adopted by Harris, he was never adopted into, and never became a member of any tribe.

People on social media didn’t seem to care about Depp’s connection to Native people, or that Dior got permission to use Native imagery.

They just want Dior to stop profiting off minority people. Sure, it’s nice Dior attempted to use proper consultations for this ad, their film, and their entire branding. However, is any of the money made from this product going back to Native people at all?

Of course, there had to have been at least one person of color saying stop, right?

Were they too afraid to speak up?

We haven’t even gotten to the fact that the name of the perfume is actually a derogatory word that Native people have often been described as.

Why didn’t the Native consultants say ‘maybe call it something else’?

Did Dior also forget that Depp was awful as a representative of Native people in “The Lone Ranger”?

There a ton of Native male models. We would have loved to have seen any of them.

But let’s see both sides for a second. They did incorporate a lot of authentic Native inclusiveness.

Dior did well with the consultants, and well with the female model and the Native dancer. It was just Depp. He ruined the entire thing. Oh, and the fact that we’re still wondering if Dior is giving a single dollar to Native causes from the earnings of this product. But what do we know? According to People magazine, the Comanche people said Depp is the “perfect embodiment of an intense Sauvage man,” and added that he is after all adopted by the Comanche community.

Watch the entire ad below and let us know what you think.

Update: Dior has deleted all images and video from their social media pages. Guess they learned their lesson.

READ: All Of The Mexicanas In Hollywood Dior Could Have Asked To Represent Their Mexican-Inspired Line That Aren’t Jennifer Lawrence

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

Fierce

A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

Atsushi Tomura/Getty

In 2009, the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reported that almost 5.4 million people in the United States live with paralysis. Still, despite how common this is, few people understand the condition of paralysis and how it affects a person’s daily life. Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Tawil, of New Jersey, recently set out to explain the experience on TikTok last year.

Since her first post in November, the TikToker has garnered over 1 million followers with content that focuses on her experience of being paralyzed from the waist down.

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil explained an exercise that might give people a chance to understand the sensation of being paraplegic.

@jesstawil

#foryoupage #fyp #foryou #whatilearned #stemlife #needtoknow #weekendvibes #bekind #spinalcordinjury #productivity #disability #medical #paralyzed

♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil shared an exercise with her followers that demonstrates how it feels to not be able to move a ligament. In this case, it’s your finger. According to Buzzfeed, Tawil came across the exercise after looking through posts related to disabilities. “I remember feeling so blown away because my legs felt the exact same way as my finger did,” she said.

“Not many people know too much about paraplegics and their capabilities, so I wanted to be that light to inform, educate, and even entertain people,” Tawil explained to BuzzFeed. “I want people to know what it’s like to be paralyzed … so that they can be a little bit more appreciative of what they have and remain humble.”

Tawil’s video demonstration currently has over 12 million views.

Tawil explained that a kidnapping and car accident led to her paralysis when she was in her teens.

Tawil explained that the accident took place on Nov. 15, 2014, when she went to a friend’s house in high school. When she arrived, Tawil discovered that men were present and instantly felt uncomfortable when she further learned that they had brought drugs and alcohol.

“When I eventually asked them to take me home, they took me to an abandoned road instead. When we got to this road, the driver stopped the car and put his foot on the gas and brake at the same time, doing a burnout with his wheels. He lost control of the car and crashed into a tree,” Tawil explained. “It was at this moment that I got whiplash, split my head open to the point where my skull was exposed, and sustained a spinal cord injury — leaving me paralyzed the moment we crashed,” she said. “Paramedics said that I lost the equivalence of a ‘Coca-Cola bottle of blood’ out of my head, and didn’t think I’d make it if they drove me to the hospital. So they drove me to a nearby soccer field where a helicopter airlifted me to the ICU. From there on, I went through seven months of rehab and remained permanently paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.”

Speaking about her injury, Tawil says she was “robbed of my ability to use the bathroom normally (I depend on catheters and enemas).”

Sadly Tawil says her experience led to her reclusiveness and weariness to trust others. Still, she finds that her disability comes with positives. “On the positive side, I have become a lot more spiritual and grateful to have been given another chance at life,” she told BuzzFeed. “My accident has emphasized the fact that we are not promised tomorrow, and that we should always be grateful for the simplest things in life… I also want to show people how I live my life in the present day — what is life like as a wheelchair user? — and devote my channel to being a blog where people can get to know me on a lot more of a personal level.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

At 78-Years-Old, This Oaxacan Woman Learned To Read And Write And Even Authored An Award-Winning New Book

Things That Matter

At 78-Years-Old, This Oaxacan Woman Learned To Read And Write And Even Authored An Award-Winning New Book

Jorge Fernandez / Getty Images

It’s never too late to follow your dreams. It may sound cliche but one Indigenous woman from the Mexican state of Oaxaca is showing just how true that sentiment really is.

Although growing up knowing how to speak her native language of Náhuatl, she was never able to read or write it – let alone Spanish. Now after years of studying and being too embarrassed to attend classes, this 78-year-old woman can say that she achieved her dream and is now an award-winning author.

Despite being illiterate for years, Justina Rojas has finally finished primary school.

Justina Rojas Flores, a resident of the Oaxacan community of San Miguel Espejo, learned to read and write at 76. She remembers that at first she was embarrassed to attend her classes, but with the support of her teachers sh was motivated to learn the alphabet and words and communication.

In fact, she became so motivated that she’s recently authored a handmade book that earned her a national award. She recently told El Sol de Puebla, that “I was already cracking under pressure because I was cheating a lot, but the teachers told me ‘yes you can, Justina’, so I continued taking classes and it was thanks to them that I learned. After two years, I wrote La Mazorca, which is dedicated to the community of San Miguel Espejo.”

In her Indigenous language of Náhuatl, Rojas shared the history of La Mazorca, which emphasizes the value of appreciating all things – especially that which the land gives us.

“I beg you, if you see me lying on the ground, pick me up, don’t step on me. Just as you take care of me, I will take care of you,” is part of the story in the book that was awarded in 2019 by the State Institute for Adult Education (IEEA), an achievement with which Rojas feels accomplished, and with which motivates other people to enter the competition.

Rojas is proving that it’s never too late to learn something new.

Now, at 78-years-old, Rojas is able to celebrate her achievements. Though she admits that many in her community continue to doubt her real motivation. It’s common to hear people ask ‘Why do I learn if I’m old?’, ‘What use is it going to do?’, and ‘I’m on my way out so it doesn’t matter.’

But many of the people who ask these questions are the same people who don’t have the same opportunities, since they can’t read or write. According to figures from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval) in Rojas’ community, there are around 2,267 inhabitants, and the majority are living in poverty, a factor that significantly influences educational access. Many, from a very young age, leave school to work to support their families and take jobs working in the fields or construction.

Finally, Rojas wants everyone to know that they should not limit themselves and to embrace knowledge regardless of age. “If you don’t know how to read and write, or if you know someone like that, I invite you to go where they teach, so that those who know more can share their knowledge with us.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com