Selena Gomez, Bindi and Cultural appropriation

So, Selena Gomez wore a bindi during her MTV Awards performance. A Hindu group in America released this statement:

The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance,” Hindu statesman Rajan Zed told WENN (via MSN). “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.”

I don’t know. They are right that she is culturally appropriating bindi. A pop star wears a bindi and it becomes a fashion statement. But when my mom who is Hindu wears a bindi, it becomes something alien and strange. Suddenly it is that strange Indian lady with a weird red dot. Look at her not trying to assimilate to Canadian culture. On the other hand, it is just a bindi. I don’t get annoyed when people wear henna even though it is culturally important to south Asians. I guess it all comes down to respect. Try not to make other people’s religious and cultural clothing into an exotic, alien, fetishized thing. Try not to dress as an “Indian” during Halloween. Our clothing is not a costume. I don’t wear t-shirt and jeans as “costume.” If you realize that, I am happy if you spot a bindi on your forehead or Indian bangles on your wrist.