Update (12:36 PM PST on February 22, 2019):
The original post including the image of the woman wearing the native headdress has been removed from Twitter.
On Thursday, a picture was snapped of a woman at Toronto Pearson Airport's Arrivals area who was wearing a native headdress, and the Twitter community was quick to react. It's not yet clear who exactly the woman is, and why the woman was wearing the headdress, but the Internet was eager to assume she's guilty of the hotly debated act of cultural appropriation.
The photo of the unusual sighting is starting to get a lot of attention on social media - for all the wrong reasons, of course. "Arrivals. Airport. Toronto. Looks like this Canadian didn’t get the memo of how incredibly wrong this is," the caption reads.
There are countless reasons why non-Indigenous people shouldn't wear headdresses, from cultural appropriation to the reinforcement of stereotypes. But it's important to note that most people are completely unaware of the fact that, by tradition, native women do not typically wear full warbonnets.
Here is the photo in question, posted on Twitter at 9:44 PM on Thursday night:
Arrivals. Airport. Toronto. Looks like this Canadian didn’t get the memo of how incredibly wrong this is. 🤢🤮 pic.twitter.com/mtWoPXOBen— Christi Belcourt (@christibelcourt) February 15, 2019
And here is a small sample of some of the responses the photo elicited:
These headpieces are reserved for respected community members and elderly men who have earned the right to wear them. However, images of "sexy women" wearing headdresses are inescapable within our society.
Costume shops market headdresses all the time, and "sexy Indians" have been the bane of Halloween celebrations since they started popping up on shelves years ago.
If you're unsure of what constitutes as cultural appropriation, there are tons of resources and information on the subject that can facilitate a much more comprehensive understanding, including an awesome handbook from Simon Fraser University called "Think Before You Appropriate".