The artist also revised the Disney character Pocahontas’s modern-day back story: she “is an environmental activist” who enters into the Disney fighting tournament “to literally fight for nature,” joshwmc writes in his description.
The legendary Pocahontas was the daughter of the Algonquin chief Powhatan. The appropriation of Pocahontas by mainstream media is a source of contention for many members of Indian Country, given her oftentimes offensive treatment as propaganda to exemplify a sense of Anglo-Indian harmony.
But due to her wide recognition, some Indians are embracing her as a symbol of Native pride. Most recently, model Mariah Watchman, who grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, portrayed Pocahontas on the 18th cycle of America’s Next Top Model, the popular reality show hosted by Tyra Banks.
“As soon as I heard what the competition was, I knew that’s who I would be,” Watchman told The Oregonian. “I was completely fine with it. There’s no one else I’d want more to portray. It’s someone everybody knows.”
Read Indian Country Today Media Network’s article “American Indian Model Mariah Watchman Competes on America’s Next Top Model” to learn more about Watchman’s successful modeling career and performance on the show.