Native Model Named Playmate of the Year – Celebrate or Hate?

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown April 21st, 2017 Blog

Playboy magazine recently named Brook Power their Playmate of the Year for 2017. According to press releases, she is the magazine's first Native American to win the title.

Here's what she had to say about her heritage and background:

When not modeling, Brook loves putting her talents into artistic creations. She’s often run into various roadblocks, but uses her Native American heritage (she’s part Chippewa) to motivate her. “Sacagawea, my role model, broke through the strict gender restrictions of North American culture,” says Brook. “Before her, Native American women weren’t viewed as equals. As a female artist, it’s more difficult for me to achieve credibility, but I’m not bitter. I’ll take the added challenge, because gender equality has never been forced Women don’t need the booster seat of affirmative action to be as successful as men. We can kick ass just fine on our own without a social movement taking credit for our successes.”

The 27-year-old model from Oahu, Hawaii has modeled for the magazine before, posing as Miss May 2016 during their nudity-free days. But the magazine has started posting nude pictures again as of February of this year.

So what do you guys think? I know the hypersexualization of women, in general, is a touchy topic, but it's even more so in the Native and First Nations communities. Do you think it's a significant milestone that this is the first Native women to win the title of Playmate of the Year? Are we celebrating the fact that mainstream media and the modeling world is becoming more diverse? Or does the fact that Playboy still holds a stigma in society sway our opinion that this isn't a great thing?

? never knew if i should play a cowboy or an Indian [email protected]

A post shared by Brook Power (@brookpower) on

? Shipwrecks, the rusty bones of the Maria de Carmen, 8 hours deep Baja Mex. ??? ? @luke_macmaster

A post shared by Brook Power (@brookpower) on

Regardless of your thoughts on nudity, I have to say she is a stunning woman and looks great for just having given birth only 5 months ago!


About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

16 thoughts on “Native Model Named Playmate of the Year – Celebrate or Hate?

  1. Steve Smith says:

    I believe any women connected with playboy are being exploited by an old pervert period! These young ladies should have more respect for themselves and their culture.

    • Saphira says:

      I have to agree with you, Steve Smith. Too bad more people don’t agree with you. And, yes, they should have more respect for themselves. Thats what we want, huh? All these married men lookin’ at these naked women. Some wives don’t mind, I guess, but, some DO! I’m glad my husband is not the kind who has to look at this crap. According to him, he doesn’t need it.

    • Your mamma says:

      Exploited??? Im sure they arent doing tge modeling for beads and furs They didnt put a bag over her head and force her to get naked Though you disagree with her choice and blame the”white man” which is an easy excuse for not dealing with what is happening in Native culture it was her choice to model or not

  2. Starr Tawny Eagle says:

    I think she is a beautiful woman and should do whatever makes her happy. As far as Playboy is concerned, I don’t have any opinion one way or the other. However, I do have a disagreement with her statement “Native American women weren’t viewed as equals”. Cherokee women were equal and actually held more status than men. Work was divided equally and women had a vote in all major decisions. The Cherokee Nation was and is still a matriarchal society and it has worked well for us for thousands of years. It was not until the whites came that this type of society became a problem, and that is just a part of history.

  3. Weigh it very carefully before you do it. Do research on others that have done it, many have said they wish they had not as they got older. It will follow you for the rest of your life.. You are an intelligent, beautiful young woman. Think about what you plan to do with your life and if this will hold you back or push you forward, depending on the field you plan to go into.
    As a Native American woman, I never felt inferior, I am also educated, I always felt proud and you could see it in my walk when I was a young woman.

  4. it is about time for a beautiful native lady to win something that helped her and the name of the native people are seen to be as good as others in this country

  5. Nick Wolfwood says:

    There are beautiful people from all races and nationalities. It’s pitiful that it takes some people so long to figure out what should be self evident. Congratulations to this young lady. I hope she approaches all of life’s obstacles with determination and fearlessness.

  6. Wagon Burner says:

    She’s a fake. If Sacagawea is her role model, that says enough!! Sacagawea, was a traitor and whore. As for any Native woman earning the title of Playmate of the Year, It Ain’t a Bad Thing. The human body is something to be adored and appreciated. So in that aspect good for her, native or not.

  7. Syndi Williamson-Schryer says:

    I’m working with the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women MMIW, and seeing the exploitation of our women and girls, I myself have a difficult time in understanding why this is being considered a milestone. Our womyn are being exploited at alarmingly rates and we are constantly pursuing avenues to help them not to disappear. It’s obvious that she is doing this on her accord, but what about those young women out there that are already another statistical number? How many more of our vulnerable youth and young womyn are going to want to explore this Avenue as a source of revenue and be sucked even further into the underbelly of the sex trade by cruel and harsh ” people” that are looking for the next big “star”? Unsuspecting and hopeful of a better life, they will end up murdered and missing too
    You can mark my words!.

  8. She does not know Native American History. Women throughout the Americas had leadership and equal roles in many Tribes. I realize this is a young woman and it is a fluff piece of news, but she should not speak for Native women or Chippewa women if she does not have the knowledge. And she is from Hawaii, how much does she know about the culture on the Mainland. Not necessarily her fault for not knowing, because Native American culture and history is not taught effectively or very accurately in schools.

  9. Guadalupe molina says:

    It sounds to me that she is proud of her ethnic background. And it’s true. Our schools do not teach us enough regarding the Native American. But we are gathering information on the net, like acorns, as knowledge is planted and shared by those that know. She is a beautiful women and if she has chosen this path, who are we to judge. We all have made our own choices.

  10. David Blackburn says:

    I can be so brainless sometimes! I misread the end of the article and thought they were saying she was born five months ago. That would have been noteworthy!

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