Quannah Chasinghorse Didn’t Want to Discuss Her Face Tattoo Because People ‘Wouldn’t Have Accepted

Quannah Chasinghorse Didn't Want to Discuss Her Face Tattoo Because People 'Wouldn't Have Accepted'

It took some time for model Quannah Chasinghorse to feel comfortable opening up about her face tattoos.

The 19-year-old model, who made history as the first Indigenous woman to walk for Chanel this past fashion month, started getting tattoos on her face as a teen, a marker for her culture. Called a Yidįįłtoo, a traditional face tattoo done by her people — Chasinghorse’s heritage is Hän Gwich’in (from Alaska and Canada) and Oglala Lakota (from South Dakota) — the symbolic ink was something she was apprehensive about sharing with the world until she got older.

Though she received her first one at age 14, Chasinghorse told Ela in her December 2021 digital cover story that she wanted to wait until she could defend it before speaking about it.

Quannah Chasinghorse Covers the December 2022 Digital Cover of ELLE

Quannah Chasinghorse Covers the December 2022 Digital Cover of ELLE
Crédito: Nathaniel Goldberg

Because I knew that if people knew I got [isto] younger, they wouldn’t have accepted me. Gostar, ‘A 12-year-old with a tattoo on her face?'” Chasinghorse, a fourth-generation land protector for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, disse.

De acordo com Ela, it’s been the tradition for a Hän Gwich’in girl to receive a Yidįįłtoo between the ages of 12 e 14 as a sign of passage into womanhood. The practice was banned by missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries, but Chasinghorse became the first girl in her tribe to bring the tradition back. Her mother Jody Potts-Joseph did the honors (the first tattoo she ever inked on someone) and has since done many more for other Indigenous people.

Quannah Chasinghorse Covers the December 2022 Digital Cover of ELLE

Quannah Chasinghorse Covers the December 2022 Digital Cover of ELLE
Crédito: Nathaniel Goldberg

Now that Chasinghorse has catapulted into the spotlight, walking the runways of Prabal Gurung, Chloé and Chanel (entre outros) and attending the Met Gala, she’s using her platform to advocate for change.

There are always Indigenous people showing up, doing the work, and I don’t think we get enough recognitionOur voices are constantly being pushed away because people don’t take us seriously,” ela disse Ela.

Quannah Chasinghorse Covers the December 2022 Digital Cover of ELLE

Quannah Chasinghorse Covers the December 2022 Digital Cover of ELLE
Crédito: Nathaniel Goldberg

Chasinghorse continued: “I grew my platform through my advocacy work, through being a land and water protector and showing up. That’s what got me attention and started my career. Being able to live my dream and continue that important work is all I could ever ask for.

It hasn’t always been easy. When Chasinghorse attended the star-studded Met Gala for fashion’s biggest night in September, ela admitiu the experience felt isolating andlonely.

I remember standing there and looking at everyone and feeling so alone. Gostar, realmente, really lonely,” Chasinghorse told Insider. The model expressed that she felt no oneknew me” ou “cared to ask.

Quannah Chasinghorse

Quannah Chasinghorse
Quannah Chasinghorse
| Crédito: Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Images For The Met Museum/Vogue

People are there for themselves and it shows,” Chasinghorse said.

While she initially was excited to attend the highly anticipated event, Chasinghorse now feels that she doesn’tbelong in spaces like that.

Ela disse, “I’m not an elitistMy way of walking in this world, na indústria, is so different compared to everyone else because I feel like I’m constantly having to break barriers.