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1:22am April 23, 2014

Couldn’t sleep so I finally ordered my new corset
I’m so excited

1:22am April 23, 2014

A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?

The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.

Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.

We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.

Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.

The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.

And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.

So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too.

— 

Why a Bindi Is NOT an Example of Culture Appropriation 

by Anjali Joshi

(via breannekiele)

ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy cosmicallycosmopolitan

(via excessofcats)

ayyyyy

(via bangaraangex)
8:50pm April 21, 2014

captainarlert:

kougamiii:

anything is possible when the attack on titan soundtrack is playing

Except apparently killing all the titans and protecting your friends

8:36pm April 21, 2014

unbuttoned-spine:

Steam Powered Giraffe The Comic Old v New: Rabbit

Art by Bunny Bennett

8:29pm April 21, 2014

depresant:

you all deserve someone who isnt embarrassed to love you and tells all their friends about you and saves your selfies, good and bad to look at when they miss you and loses sleep to talk to you and tells you how much they love you. i hope you all find that!!

8:25pm April 21, 2014

skylarspookysocks:

a lot of people take up hobbies to reduce stress and clear their minds

then there are cosplayers

8:21pm April 21, 2014

stridering:

stridering:

"do your homework"

image

image

8:16pm April 21, 2014

 http://stupidswampwitch.tumblr.com/post/83253253597/masooood-safeidgul-why-cant-there-be-a-male

stupidswampwitch:

masooood:

safeidgul:

Why can’t there be a male hooter’s equivalent where male servers are shirtless and highly sexualized for their bodies and looks

Male Strip clubs. You’re thinking of male strip clubs.

No. Not a male strip club. A strip club is a strip club. I want a place…

7:51pm April 21, 2014

eternal-floette:

How long until the 15 year olds take over this post with their garbage

7:46pm April 21, 2014
7:32pm April 21, 2014

marypsue:

Kill the idea that naivety is an unforgivable flaw but cynicism is just wisdom, murder it, chop it up and serve it for dinner, I don’t care, just end this bullshit idea that it’s better to hate than to love and better to rot in miserable bitter resignation than to hope for the best.

12:14am April 21, 2014
sugarpumpkin:

if someone asks for nudes just tell them this and they’ll leave you alone

sugarpumpkin:

if someone asks for nudes just tell them this and they’ll leave you alone

12:10am April 21, 2014

alwaysdownandout:

The season of leg shaving is upon us.

12:10am April 21, 2014
11:51pm April 20, 2014

poptwart:

poptwart:

if you wanna be my lover, you gotta deal with my

ANNOYING AND OBSESSIVE PERSONALITY