Germany’s Next Top Model plays Cowgirls and Indians

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown April 1st, 2014 Last Updated on: April 1st, 2014

Learning nothing from the outrage over Victoria's Secret or Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld's use of headdresses in fashion, Germany's Next Top Model went with an “Indian-themed” photo shoot while filming their latest episode in Utah. The pictures were posted to Heidi Klum's Facebook page on Thursday. Germany's Next Top Model is hosted by Klum, who is also a lead judge and executive producer of the show.

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page


Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Via Heidi Klum Facebook page

Indian Country Today has a great round-up of quotes from some of the angry commenters on Facebook. The full photoset can be found on Heidi Klum's FB page.

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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 PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Snow Owl

I use to respect Heidi Klum. But now seeing these pictures and the disrespect that is being show to my people I feel nothing but disgust towards her and those that allowed this to be done.


The white man will never stop taking from the other races and cultures. It seems to me like the only people who don’t know the word respect is the whites. They think everyone owes them one thing or another, they know nothing except for greed and hatred. They need peace in their hearts.

Pat VanNoy

Sorry but I mean no disrespect, but that woman doesn’t even look good in those pics. White men plus all others minus the Native Americans either don’t know the meaning of “respect” or just don’t give a damn! Some things in ones nation is sacred and should be kept that way. I wonder if those people involved with those pics know what it takes & what it means when a Native American makes his Head-dress and when it is to be worn? Not!!!


With all due respect to Heidi Klum and these models, this is what happens when money becomes the most important thing in living life today. You end up posing (and I mean posing) for the camera looking hip, trendy, cool, exotic, avant-garde even, and certainly sexy has to be part of that equation in that artificial world of bright lights, money, and large egos.

Looking at these photos reveals an unconscious, ignorant, and callous disregard for our culture and way of life — which also reveals your very own unconscious, ignorant, and callous disregard for your culture and way of life — because in fact there is no culture to the wasichu life. Please do not be offended by the word wasichu — it does not necessarily denote the white man solely but more appropriately the unthinking, arrogant, know-it-all, conquering, take-take-take, no-need-to-ask, no-need-to-say-thank-you mentality brought on by the white man who conquered our lands under the fiction of his right of discovery and manifest destiny. That disease has affected all the colors of the races now. So wasichu means anyone of this mentality nowdays to me at least.

And this is what you have wrought by these false images of appropriating native culture for money, glory, fame, and the egos of the wasichu. Just look at the way the channunpa is held and the seductive poses of some. Just that (and there’s more) gives great offense to many especially to our women — grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters.

It is my fervent hope that you will wise up by first listening the voices of the people whose culture you are misappropriating — ask for forgiveness, withdraw these silly portraits, support genuine native causes such as simply HONORING THE TREATIES — and if you decide to want to veer off into exploring native culture for your medium — PLEASE CHECK IN FIRST with the people, listen and listen deeply, and please ask permission before using anything native for your commercial, public, or even private purposes.

I speak to you as your brother for we are all related. It is time for you Heidi to spend some time away from those bright lights and large egos and come visit and spend time with the simple people and the simple life again. There is infinitely much more to learn and gain than all the money and fame you mistake for achievement in life. There are hidden forces that have used your people against our people — let us all awaken and rise up to reclaim our ways and the truth. But we need your help — you need to wake up and please listen for once.

Woyawashte. Aho mitakuye oyasin.

Gale White Elder

this type of exploitation is not a surprise for me. Businesses have been doing this for centuries I take it in consideration due to the lack of respect and honor people show the First Nation People. A woman in a headdress Not! I am glad the words Dancer, Teacher, Mother, are placed on Via Heidi Klum’s picture. I have often wondered thru my life what is their nationality and would I do that to them. No I wouldn’t disrespect her nationality. She obviously has been doing this for years all for their almighty dollar. As I stated before its no surprise that they will continue to exploit American Indians.

Pascale PADLO

Tout ceci est formellement interdit par le ciel, et punit, ce n’est pas les Autochtones que l’on vise

gloriaascott (good heart)

you still need to honor the American in there with just the regional always of the America. America the beautiful not as beautiful as it was Because of the other races taking it andthe nation raping the nation not acknowledging the world original Americansand the Afraican American Indian.

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