Cultural appropriation has become somewhat synonymous with music festivals these days (feathered headdresses, anyone?) -- and people all over the Internet are sick of it.
Many individuals have taken to social media to express their distaste with the way-too-common cultural appropriation of traditional garments and accessories -- more specifically, the bindi (a bright red dot of red colour applied between the eyebrows that is typically worn by married Hindu women).
Using the hashtag #ReclaimTheBindi, individuals on Twitter and Tumblr are attempting to take back their culture "from those who have taken it" from them. Many of the people participating are women aiming to promote cultural appreciation, self-love, and self-confidence; they're promoting pride in their culture. They're also out to show the world that their culture is way more than just the latest fashion statement.
— $hraya (@shrayapandey) April 11, 2015
#reclaimthebindi because the kids that made me cry when they made fun of me in ethnic clothes are the same that love wearing bindis now— tasha (@tashformers) April 10, 2015
Celebs such as Selena Gomez, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Vanessa Hudgens have adopted the symbol for themselves on various occasions, often stirring up controversy. But that doesn't seem to stop them.
Along with the #ReclaimTheBindi hashtag, many are sharing #CoachellaShutdown, since there always seem to be so many appropriation offenders present at the major festival.
Their tweets and images are basically a giant "screw you" to all the people who used to criticise their culture but now find it "trendy."
And they make great points -- their culture is not meant to be worn as a "costume." It's so much more than that, and it's no doubt beautiful. For those reasons, these hashtags are important -- they're proof that people are willing to stand up for their cultures and put an end to exploiting them.
But like we asked after Dsquared2's "DSquaw" guffaw, is there a way to pay tribute to the clothing and accessories of other cultures without crossing a line? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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