Kaley Cuoco’s latest outfit has a raised a few eyebrows.
The Big Bang Theory star recently made headlines when her partially nude photos leaked online, but this time Kaley’s problem isn’t a lack of clothing. She was completely covered up while competing at the Longines Los Angeles Masters Charity Pro-Am in Los Angeles, but her outfit was culturally insensitive.
For the show-jumping competition, Kaley Cuoco opted to wear a feathered ensemble with fringe accents. She completed her Native American-inspired look with a long black wig. According to the Daily Mail, Kaley was also photographed toting around a feathered bag with a fake tomahawk sticking out of it. Cuoco’s horse Thor was painted with various symbols, including arrows, handprints, zig-zag lines, and a smiley face.
The Big Bang Theory actress shared a few photos of her costume on Instagram, along with comments about the show jumping event.
“Had an amazing time partnering up w the amazing and talented @parisanns for the #lamasters #proam #longines @ #laconventioncenter 25k to the charity #rideon #ididntsuck #thankgodforThor”
“Had an amazing cheering section and very good friends who helped Thor and I get ready for the #longines #proam tonight! Thank you @lucillebryan @eyeofthtiger @zoeypacyna @julierae7 and the fieldstone cheering section”
According to Refinery 29, celebrities teamed up with pro riders for the charity competition, and each pair of competitors chose a costume theme. You’d think that Kaley Cuoco and her partner would have chosen to dress like superheroes — after all, Kaley’s horse was named Thor, and she stars on a TV series loaded with superhero references. However, The Big Bang Theory star and her partner decided on a “Cowboy and Indians” theme instead. Kaley was the “Indian” and her partner was the cowboy. Needless to say, some people weren’t impressed with her choice of dress.
“How many times do people have to rail against Pharrell or Khloe Kardashian for wearing headdresses before it starts to sink in that cultural appropriation is completely unacceptable?” Refinery 29 writer Erin Donnelly wrote. A few of Cuoco’s Instagram followers also complained about the costume.
“My culture is not your costume,” one follower wrote.
“The decorative attire used to portray ‘Indian-ness’ in popular media often has sacred and religious significance,” another pointed out.
The backlash soon poured over onto Twitter.
— TS Willis (@StarkeRaving) September 28, 2014
Many people see nothing wrong with dressing up in Native American Halloween costumes or wearing headdresses to Washington Redskins games. However, Native Americans have a very big problem with non-natives stealing their looks.
“Headdresses have deep spiritual and cultural meaning for Native Americans,” The Seattle Times points out. “For a person to wear a war bonnet who didn’t earn it would be the exact same thing as somebody wearing a Purple Heart or Medal of Honor who did not earn it.”
Kaley Cuoco couldn’t wear a headdress over her protective helmet, but she was still doing her best to dress like a Native American stereotype. Some Native Americans consider what Kaley did as being no different from dressing up in blackface.
Kaley’s costume idea failed to score enough points with the judges to help her team win the Longines charity competition. Instead, that honor went to Tom Selleck’s daughter Hannah and her partner. They dressed like Batman and Poison Ivy, proving that Cuoco made a huge mistake by not going with the superhero theme.
Do you think Kaley Cuoco should have known better than to dress up like a Native American?