In some tribes, there is a belief that a person is composed of four things: a physical, an emotional, a mental and a spirit part. With recent movements for Native American rights, women tend to show themselves as they are: descendants of a persecuted nation.
The Mysterious Beauty: Native American
Native American women were depicted as attractive, desirable, and pious. Interestingly, that beauty was one that matched nineteenth-century beauty ideals for white women: light skin, carefully groomed hair, a thin and shapely body dressed in popular colors.
In some tribes, there is a belief that a person is composed of four things: a physical, an emotional, a mental and a spirit part. Together, these four elements make a person who must bring positivity to these elements to have a balanced life.
This fictitious Native American woman was also morally upstanding.
Narratives focused on her superior housekeeping, her fierce devotion to her children, her piety and self-sacrifice. There are 2 conflicting theories on how she gained these: speculation that Native American women learned their values from their natural surroundings, another that they were transmitted through contact with missionaries and white settlers.
With recent movements for Native American rights, women tend to show themselves as they are: descendants of a persecuted nation. And their history, the one of their tribe and families, is sometimes quite enough to show their beauty.
Native American men were another story. Repeatedly portrayed as violent, ruthless, and cruel, they reflected nineteenth-century sexual, racial, and colonial fears. These portrayals reflected popular values by suggesting that ruthless Native American men could only be tamed by civilization or the tempering influence of a woman.
It would be easy to cast these gendered portrayals of indigenous women in a positive light, but they ended up hurting Native Americans more than they helped.
While the articles portrayed women in a positive light according to the criteria of the day, they simultaneously created a fictional Native-American woman, divorced from her cultural heritage and male counterparts and dependent on the white population for her identity.
But the Native American community is still evolving in a society which abandoned them. Popular beauty standards in America don’t fit with their culture and traditions. Therefore, a lot of Native American women feel like outcasts.