Selena Gomez Attacked for Wearing Bindi, But What About Every Other Celebrity?

Say What!? 13

Selena GomezDid you happen to see Selena Gomez when she took the stage at the MTV Movie Awards last weekend? Apparently she's getting quite a bit of attention for her performance of her new single, "Come & Get It" -- but she's not being lauded for her impeccable vocals or mesmerizing dance moves. Instead, she's being criticized for being culturally insensitive.

When she performed the song, Gomez wore a red dress, striking eye makeup … and a sparkling bindi on her forehead. It's the latter part of her costume that's angered leaders at the Universal Society of Hinduism, who are accusing Gomez of cultural appropriation and demanding an apology.

The strange thing is, I can't remember any of the many, MANY other non-Indian bindi-wearing celebrities who have come under fire like this.

Gomez included a number of traditional Indian motifs (music, dance moves) in her performance, and she said ahead of time that her own costume would be "glam tribal" to fit the song. So the bindi wasn't entirely without context -- but the university Hindu leaders were greatly displeased with her choice of adornment. According to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed,

The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance. 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 should apologize and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions.

Okay, I can't argue over whether or not this is an issue worthy of the Hindu leaders' time and attention, because I guess the bottom line is if they were offended, they have the right to express that just like I have the right to roll my eyes a little over this.

But! If Selena Gomez is being asked to apologize and "get acquainted with world religion," shouldn't this group send the same message to Gwen Stefani?

Or Alyssa Milano?

How about Katy Perry?

Miley Cyrus?

And let's not forget the original religious-leader-panty-wadder, Madonna.

Not to mention Jessica Simpson, Ashley Judd, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Khloe Kardashian, and probably a ton of others I'm just not thinking of right now.

Interestingly, this same Hindu leader actually praised Julia Roberts when she wore a bindi while visiting the Taj Mahal during the filming for Eat Pray Love.

Julia Roberts honoured the traditions of India by sporting a bindi on her forehead during her recent trip to India, and we are very happy she did. It was a mark of respect that has not gone unnoticed.

Oooooooooookay.

Anyway, I feel for Selena, although she certainly seems to be taking the controversy in stride --  she wore the bindi on Ellen Tuesday, as well as on last night's Dancing with the Stars' elimination show.

What do you think of this bindi backlash against Selena Gomez?

Images via MTV, Bravo, Pinterest

celebrity, celebs

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redK8... redK8blueSt8


I'm so glad that Selena Gomez is NOT apologizing. It is no different than if she wore a necklace with a cross or the star of David or any other religious symbol. She wore it and it's not anyones business to tell her she can't. Welcome to America.


Vegeta Vegeta

Lol actually Bindi ARE fashion accessories. Go to any Indian clothing store or party. They sell elaborate and ornate stick on and glue on reusable jewelry that say right on the box 'sexy' and 'tempting' etc. Normal Hindus wouldn't care if this girl wore one. If you go to a Hindu party like dwali (sort of like Christmas) or anything else that contains a poojan, they put red paint on the men and simple Bindi on the women who weren't wearing one already no matter what religion or race you are. This guy is part of a super extreme group, normal Hindu people aren't that intolerant.

Marlene Sabba

It is  America - aka a Free Country!  

amnew... amnewlon8982

Am I gonna get pissed off at everyone for adorning themselves with a cross pendant just because I am Christian? Uh, no...and I am pretty sure I have met a few people wearing a cross that can't even be loosely defined as Christian. But, who am I to judge?

kisse... kisses5050

I find it disrespectful. I find it disrespectful when the cross is used as a fashion statement ( no i am not christian) I find it disrespectful when Wicca symbols are hijacked into popular cultural... I don't feel it is the "right" of anyone to desecrate something meaningful to a group of people just because it fits into what you you want it for. Do you want me taking your baby's pictures off your Facebook and say using them in my art project that depicts him as a puppy eating demon....because after all it is America and it is a free country and I am only expressing my art.

jessa... jessasmamma

Honestly - you shouldn't be wearing any type of religious symbol, jewelry, etc. if you don't know the actual meaning/significance of it. AND, if you're not wearing it for the reason intended.

I think one of the problems with Selena wearing Bindi is that she was singing "come and get it", which most people take in a sexual way. I, personally, thought she kept her performance very classy, but the bindi was disrespectful. I have no doubt that it was unintentionally disrespectful, but it WAS disrespectful.

tessi... tessiekat

I don't think she has anything to apologize for and I'm glad she hasn't. If they are going to ask for her apology, they need to ask for apologies from all of the celeb's who aren't practicing Hindus.


Just because a symbol is meaningful to a culture, doesn't mean they have exclusive rights to it and its use, does it? It how you use/see the symbol in your own personal life that makes it special, not the exclusive use of it by your culture/religion/etc.

nonmember avatar john

THIS IS AMERICA.. IF YOU DONT LIKE WHAT WE DO IN AMERICA GET OUT!!!

kisse... kisses5050

John- what we do in  My America is respect  people and their differences. We respect thier religions and their heritage and their rights to believe and hold sacred their way of life.... it why we welcome "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" It  why people defected from Russia rather than hide their bibles under mattresses. It why people left England and Ireland and faced harsh winters.  It was not to abandon who they were but to BE who they were!

Aryan Nayak

I'm a hindu and all i can say wearing bindi is completely ok for westerns...

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