When Land-O-Lakes began to remove the Native American woman from its products, they talked around why, only saying it was to better represent their farmers and customers. Most people suspect it was also in response to activists claiming the image was racist, and perhaps the American Psychological Association’s Fake Science claiming such images have “a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children.”
Turns out the artist, Patrick DesJarlait was a Native American himself. He painted the iconic women, named Mia, to represent a real native women. His son, who has protested other images and icons that he felt weren’t a positive reflection of natives, also confirms Mia is not racist or a stereotype
He also noted,
Mia’s vanishing has prompted a social media meme: ‘They Got Rid of The Indian and Kept the Land.’ That isn’t too far from the truth. Mia, the stereotype that wasn’t, leaves behind a landscape voided of identity and history. For those of us who are American Indian, it’s a history that is all too familiar.