Tell Parents Magazine This is NOT an Acceptable Cover

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown December 10th, 2015 Last Updated on: December 10th, 2015


I was disheartened to see this image in my newsfeed today. Debbie Reese shared this image on her twitter account of the January 2016 Parents magazine cover. On the cover you will see an unruly child dressed in a headdress. Playing into the “wild Indian” stereotype a bit much? Read Reese's letter to the Editors that she posted on Facebook.


Dear Editors at Parents Magazine,

Depicting a bored child, in a toy headdress, clearly screaming, suggests “wild Indian.” You apparently do not realize that depiction is racist. I'm tweeting the cover on social media and tagging you (at your twitter ID (@parentsmagazine) and sharing this Facebook post widely. I'm encouraging others to do so, too.

Dr. Debbie Reese
American Indians in Children's Literature

Please, all photographers, photo editors and media industry people, take note! This is not acceptable!

Since Parents magazine is published by the Meredith Corporation, I am asking them to take a look at their own Social Responsibility code that is outlined on their website:

At Meredith, we take pride in supporting the communities in which we operate—and beyond. Our employees actively participate in those efforts and help us to cultivate a strong, ethical and responsible business culture.

So after you pull this cover and apologize to the Native American community, I would love to see you give back. Please donate and volunteer your time so you are helping Native Americans instead of hurting.


Good news. Thanks to social media Parents magazine issued an apology later that day.

Thanks for reminding us that a picture is worth a thousand words with your comments on our latest cover. We never intended to offend, but on reflection completely understand that the Native American headdress was a poor choice. We apologize.

If you'd like to send a message to Parents magazine and let them know what they can do to be more inclusive of the Native American parents out there, feel free to leave a message on their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parentsmagazine/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/parentsmagazine accounts.

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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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to the famely of brette polin you must wach your dogther because she got involved in dirty business with infamous cbs anchor otis livingston. brette polin hiding meny bad secrets from people brette polin and otis livingston are crooks and mey even go to prison.

robert simms

it looks like her mother is not too happy or roaring like a lion…..seems like the young ‘un was out of control…just my opinion

phillip easterday

I see the girl “roaring” like the lion she is holding… not playing into a “wild indian” theme…. children have always played “cowboys and indians” and girls always want to be indian princesses…. but Im white so… I guess people can see things that upset them in anything if they look hard enough….
In today’s PC world… we are so much more segregated and isolated into factions because that is what PC does… it points out every little possible issue that humans have and hi-lights it… what once was innocent is now outrageous..

I pity our children today… they are growing up in a world that is not homogeneous as America was intended but more like Nazi Germany in the 30s…. everywhere you turn you may be pointed out for doing or saying something offensive….

Beth Chukka Katos

The difference is that cowboys were a wardrobe and lifestyle CHOICE, whereas being a Native American is an IDENTITY, A RACE, A CULTURE, NON-REFUNDABLE LIFE CURRENCY. Just because some white person dresses a certain way doesnt make them a seperate race or culture no matter how omnipotent they think they are.


I guess that is true for Indians who decide to wear any other clothing except deer skin and buffalo hide… but as it was with the Cherokee… they wore cloth… did that lessen their identities… cowboy, stock broker, cabbie, NFL player are identities and cultures also… race is the only difference.. any race person who puts on traditional Chinese or Japanese clothing is not considered to be disrespectful, why do some Indians feel that they are being slighted instead of revered.. there were many whites and blacks in our early history who decided to merge with native American tribes because they felt as I do, that their civilizations were much better to live in…
I guess my point is… being white, I don’t own “whiteness” any more than native Americans own being “indian”.. many races can be “white” or “indian” or “Chinese” or “African” it all depends on their desire to do so.. and for society to tolerate it. Exclusion is not…. a Native American characteristic…

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