Pamela Anderson is under fire for her Halloween costume, where she dressed as a Native American person. Twitter users condemned the outfit, and accused Anderson of cultural appropriation. The 52-year-old model is still dealing with the fallout days later. Anderson posted two black-and-white photos of her Halloween costume on Thursday. She wore a Native American-style headdress and high-waisted briefs, but nothing else. Her chest was covered in a splatter of white paint and her blonde hair was up in a faux-hawk style. Her makeup was a swirl of paint and eye-liner.
Happy Halloween 👻 pic.twitter.com/K2pvI3FxCe— Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) October 31, 2019
The post picked up over 2,700 likes and nearly 200 retweets, but it also got over 1,400 replies. Many of these were furious responses to the costume, which people took for an insensitive parody of a real-life culture.
"I hate to break the news to u Pamela but this is the quintessential cultural appropriation that people are not liking," one fan wrote. "The Native head dress. Not so cool."
"This is really disappointing [and] racist Pam, I thought you were better than this," added another.
Right? This is so upsetting. 1 of her close friends is friends with my daughter's dad since they were kids. I'm screenshotting & gonna show him this & ask him to tell him to please have a talk with her about how harmful this is.— Scream of The Butterfly (@odetomedusa) November 1, 2019
Some fans even posted about the disconnect between this costume and Anderson's other forms of activism, including her passionate support of animal rights through PETA.
"Sooooo big on respect for animals but not so much for humans who don’t look like you?? Got it, Pam," someone tweeted.
Naturally, Anderson had defenders as well, and her replies soon erupted into various arguments. Anderson did not respond directly to the outcry, though she did tweet and retweet some seemingly relevant messages in the days that followed.
This included a message about "freedom of speech," which she posted twice. The tweet featured a photo of her posing with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, where she was dressed as the magazine's iconic bunny mascot.
"The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of press and you cannot have a free society if you do not have both," the quote read.
The Native American headdress is one of the most commonly denounced Halloween accessories, as it represents cultural appropriation. Even members of Native American communities now refrain from wearing the artifacts themselves, as writer Brooke Shuntona explained in a 2015 op-ed for Cosmopolitan.
"From cultural appropriation to the reinforcement of stereotypes, there are countless reasons why people shouldn't wear headdresses, but what most people don't know is that, by tradition, women do not typically wear full warbonnets," she wrote. "These are reserved for respected elders and men who have earned the right to wear them."