Apache, Geronimo, Lozen, Native Americans, Photography, Photoshop, Retouched, Sex, Warrior
I see this image from time to time circulating about the net. It passes, I suppose, for a kind of homage to Lozen, one of at least three women who fought beside Geronimo at one time or another in the course of his campaigns. Lozen, it seems was with him at the end. She was sent to Florida along with the rest of his warriors (and some of the scouts who had helped bring him). As mentioned in the meme here, the picture above was taken as she and the other prisoners waited in front of the train to be taken away.
So, what has me griping about this?
Well, take a look at the original. Lozen is the 6th figure from the right on the back row.
…and here is another close-up derived from that same photo:
So, just take a moment to compare the two and you might be able to tell what’s bothering me about the first photo.
Yeah, …they sexed her up.
The computer rendering in the first pic definitely lightened up her skin, brought her eyes out more, and gave the overall impression of much more delicate features. Hell, you can practically hear the photographer asking her to lick her lips and work it for the camera. The woman in this meme is a modern heterosexual (white?) male’s dream girl. From what I gather of the stories told about her, Lozen was no such dream.
Far from it!
The problem here isn’t necessary a question of objectivity. People make choices when they render a photo or tell a story. Maybe I’m being a little too cynical here, but I can’t help thinking the choices made in producing the image for this meme aren’t entirely in keeping with the spirit of the woman it portrays.
It’s quite simply not the same face. or even hair for that matter:
Wow it doesn’t even look like the same woman. What a shame the society does this.
Jan M. Flynn said:
You are hardly being cynical. You’re merely refusing to be taken in by an obvious ruse, and I appreciate you pointing out how sad it is that somebody felt the need to make Lozen look like an airbrushed model from a Vogue cover instead of a real-life woman who lived a a life that included extraordinary bravery and hardship, but no lip gloss or facial peels — or skin lightening, for that matter. Fie.
JT Twissel said:
The undoctored photo has a lot more power. You can feel the rage.
I’d never heard of Lozen, but I think you nailed it.
I find it insulting in more than one way. First of all, the points you mention as well as the assumption that her natural look is not beautiful. Enough. Who we are should be enough. What we stand for should be enough.
It’s a PR person’s wet dream, predicated on the assumption that you can’t honor valor without re-rendering it as a sexy come-on.
David R. Deitrick said:
Not to detract from your comments, but the manner in which those facial features have been changed are equally bankrupt. The work has been done by someone digitally literate but lacking in knowledge of basic anatomy – if you carefully compare the before-and-after pictures you’ll see that orientation of the plane of Lozen’s new face has been altered by about thirty degrees. In the original image her face is turned slightly to her left but after the changes it looks like she’s facing the viewer straight on. (It’s a rookie trick)
I doubt that the pixel monkey doing the work meant anything by this reorientation, but it is in effect just one more slap in the face ( if you’ll excuse the terrible pun).
If someone is going to tart her up it should at least be done in a competent manner.
This is a great piece. The real Lozen maybe is the dream girl of a few, men and women. We owe it to that person to present them as they really were and not some airbrushed fantasy version.
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Maribell Espinoza said:
I am a direct descendant of Lozen, one of the warrior sisters of Geronimo. I have her face, splitting image. The photoshopping of Native Americans is the equivalent of a culture wash. Thank you for pointing this out. We don’t get to see many people that look like us.