Brooklyn Beckham got his first tattoo over the weekend and it is “just like dad’s”—but unfortunately, that means, just like David Beckham’s tat, this new ink is of questionable taste.
The 18-year-old prince to the Beckham empire proudly showed off the image of a Native American Chief wearing a headdress, freshly tattooed onto his right arm below his elbow.
However, Brooklyn’s tattoo prompted social media users to call out the new ink for cultural appropriation.
“Native Americans are not an “Aesthetic”.. they’re real people and you’re using them as a design for your skin because it looks nice… lmao,” said one commenter on the Sunday Instagram post.
FLARE reached out to Métis artist and activist Zoey Roy to get her take on the tattoo.
Roy sees the new ink as a “clear depiction of dysconscious racism“—meaning a form of racism generated from passively accepting the norms and privileges certain people get from living in a white-dominated society.
“This privilege is the type that perpetuates the oppression of Indigenous people—many who are wanting to be heard—and denigrates the existing nations to this romantic version of who people want us to be,” says Roy, who fought to get costumes named “Reservation Royalty,” “Wolf Dancer” and “Feathered Chief” removed from Spirit Halloween stores in 2016.
The Saskatoon-based educator adds that the tattoo is particularly offensive since a Chief is a position that holds the most authority and respect in many Indigenous cultures.
“To bypass what this means for the sole purpose of aesthetic is much worse than getting a tattoo of a piece of artwork by an Indigenous artist because it illustrates the mockery of a knowledge system,” she says. “It allows society to forget that America was built on the backs of Indigenous people. Every Chief has a story. This tattoo allows people to forget that.”
A love of “diverse” tattoos obviously runs in the Beckham family. David Beckham has a growing collection of more than 44 all over his sweet sweet bod, including a stick figure drawn by his daughter Harper and a neck tattoo that says “Buster,” his nickname for Brooklyn. Others include “Victoria” spelled out in both Sanskrit and English, a minion from the Despicable Me franchise, phrases in Hebrew, an array of Chinese characters and verses from the Bible.
The Chief tattoo, which Brooklyn copied, appears on the left side of the pro soccer player’s ribcage.
But let’s be clear kids, just because dad does something doesn’t make it right.