Culture and Fashion Essay

1508 Words 7 Pages
Many pop stars, such as Selena Gomez, Iggy Azalea, Katy Perry, and more, have been pictured wearing a bindi. Most people see this as a unique fashion choice, an accessory that adds depth to an outfit. However, this is a situation where someone has pushed cultural appreciation too far. In modern society, people blur the line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation; which produces negative side effects such as the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes and degradation of a sacred tradition. Cultural appropriation has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Appropriation, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, is the action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. When someone …show more content…
In the case of the bindi, the damage is done through reducing an item that holds a lot of significance to the Hindu culture to nothing more than a fashion accessory. The bindi has deep significance in Hindu culture. Bindis are worn in the middle of the forehead. This is thought to be "the third eye" or the divine sight of Shiva, which sees beyond what humans can see (Pendergast, Pendergast, Johnson, and Carnagie; World Entertainment News Network). There are many types of bindis, and each signifies something different about the wearer. In particular, red sindoor bindis are worn by married Hindu women only (Pendergast, Pendergast, Johnson, and Carnagie). Unmarried Hindu women can wear jeweled bindis. Sindoor is a red, powdery substance, worn by married Hindu women only. This powder can be worn by married Hindu women only because it’s thought to activate sexual desires (Pendergast, Pendergast, Johnson, and Carnagie). When a Hindu woman marries, there is a special ceremony when the sindoor bindi is applied. This bindi is similar to a wedding ring and she’ll wear this bindi until her husband dies (Pendergast, Pendergast, Johnson, and Carnagie). Besides being thought to activate sex drive and signifying a woman’s marital status, the sindoor also imparts something to the woman wearing it. Sindoor is thought to give the energy of Sati to the wearer. Sati is seen to be the ideal wife; men whose wives wear

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