“My culture is not your fashion trend.”
With Katy Perry, Vanessa Hudgens, Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez, Iggy Azalea and countless other Hollywood starlets donning bindis and henna as boho hippy fashion statements—most notably at American music festivals—the masses have picked up on the trend. This year, as Coachella kicks off the summer music festival season, South Asian women are using the internet to condemn the throwaway appropriation of their culture.
Reclaim the Bindi is a bold new movement that calls for an immediate stop to the use of cultural, religious and spiritual clothing, accessories, and decorations by people who do not belong to the groups for whom these items are sacred, special, and meaningful.
Image via Reclaim the Bindi Tumblr
“The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance,” Hindu statesman Rajan Zed told WENN two years ago when Selena Gomez wore a bindi at performances and festivals for about a month straight. “It is also sometimes referred to as the third eye and the flame, and it is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol … It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed.” (Selena's takeaway from all this? “Sari, not sari.” Seriously.)
Reclaim the Bindi hopes to celebrate South Asian and Hindu culture as well as educate the masses on why these trendy fashion statements are capitalistic and insensitive. Check out more #ReclaimtheBindi posts on Twitter and Tumblr.