Maybe Ke$ha didn't intend the paint to look like that, and maybe she didn't intend her performance to look like blackface, but I'm a lot less inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt after her Native American headdress-wearing performance on American Idol. One commenter on MyIdol wrote:
I am a Blackfoot Native American. The headdress is the highest honor one can achieve in lifes journey. One must do all the necessary steps in earning that place. Once that is achieved, a headdress is made for the individual and a 'transfer ceremony' takes place. As I write this, our tribe is 10,000 strong in population and I can count - say - 50ish who wear the headdress... Perhaps the 'shocker' in Kesha's performance was that the headdress looked very authentic and that's what pulled at my heart strings. Now if it was one of those 1960s florescent turkey feather type (you know the one - LOL) I probably would of 'chilled' On top of that, I still have a ways go in learning the balance of life so I am yet to wear such attire. Perhaps I envied Kesha that she threw one on to no avail.People on the thread told him to "chill out," as I'm sure some people will think in regard to this post. But, those same people have probably never had anyone dress up like them to mock them, or their cultural imagery appropriated to represent generic stereotypes like "wildness." I cannot believe the producers of American Idol and SNL did not see this in dress rehearsals and think, "gee, maybe we should pull the plug on this."
Now, I'm all for artistic freedom. I'm all for artists doing wild and crazy things that make us uncomfortable, but also make us think. SNL has historically been home to such artists, such as when Sinead O'Connor ripped up a picture of the pope. That was very very offensive to some people, and some people think it never should have aired. But it was in the service of something. This, this wasn't that. This was just a careless, casually racist move by a girl who thinks the image of being too drunk to care about things like history is "fun." It's not. It's outrageous. Now please stop.