First things first, I am undeniably a stereotypical white girl. I come from the suburbs, I enjoy wearing trackies and I over indulge in caffeine. I am also physically white. That being said, I’m also Indian. My mother is Indian, my DNA is 50% Indian, I am a bona fide Hindu. However, the colour of my skin should not dictate my ability (or yours) to wear a sparkly sticker in the middle of my (your) forehead.
Having read this post by the lovely Anjali Joshi that recently exploded over the tumblrsphere, I was satisfied that the issue of Vanessa Hudgens appearing yet again culturally appreciative had been put to rest. That was until I read the comments on the post. One such comment reads “I don’t think it’s blatant disrespect or anything, but wearing a bindi doesn’t make you a progressive thinker. They know nothing about the significance of them, they just think that their cute.”
But I think, dear commenter, that you’re missing the point. Sparkly plasticy stickery bindis are cute. That is their actual intented purpose. The reason you have never seen a Hindu woman wearing a sparkly bindi on a day to day basis is because you wear them when you dress up, as Vanessa Hudgens did when she went to Coachella, as I will when I go to a festival this year, or as I did when I attended a garba (think Hindu harvest festival party) just this October.
Conversely, wearing a red dot on your forehead has significant religious connotations, which, to be quite frank, I could not begin to explain if I tried. But wearing a sparkly bindi? Well, that to me, and for my Indian-Hindu family at least, is the same as wearing a necklace or a bunch of bangles, and is definitely not the same as wearing a Native American headdress.
Yes, cultural appropriation is wrong. No, I do not represent the opinions of every Hindu. But I do think that bindis are cute, and enjoy wearing them. Maybe you should try one too.
$1 million is, as of the 7th June, is worth exactly £594849. So after I’ve exchanged it, I’ve barely got £600,000 (how I’d exchange it is a different problem, how much advance notice dyou think you’d need if you wanted it in cash?).
However, if we’re thinking realistically here, I’d probably blow it on something stupid. Like chocolate bars. And because Dairy Milk bars cost 50p each, I’d buy myself 1189698 chocolate bars..which would probably last me like a month. If that.
The age old phrase has decided to rear its unwanted and somewhat irritating head once again. Following the surge in prime time food programmes worldwide, such as the Great British Menu and the unstoppable force that is the Masterchef brand, more and more award winning chefs are being given their own ‘come look at these dishes you’ll never ever be able to make ever’ shows. However, Rachel Khoo, who you may (or may not know) from the BBC 2 show The Little Paris Kitchen, has slammed broadcasters for not showing enough female chefs on TV, according to the Huffington Post.
She says “As a woman you have to tick all these boxes to be able to be on TV. I know I look a certain way and that’s partly why I’m on TV. If I were really ugly and fat, I don’t think I’d have had the same chance.” Despite the rising number of female chefs en vogue, see Mary Berry and long time fave Nigella, it is undeniable that there just aren’t many female chefs in the public eye.
The aforementioned Great British Menu, for one, does feature both a female judge and female contestants, however, only 1/3 of the regular panel are female, and only 2 of 9 chefs in the semi final were women. Coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
But as for whether or not image is central to broadcaster’s decisions is still somewhat hazy. Khoo claims that female chefs are subject to scrutiny focused on their body, but to be quite frank, no female TV chefs that I can call to mind are the paradigm of youthful beauty.
Nonetheless, its interesting to see that although women still ‘belong in the kitchen’, they of all people are seemingly neither seen nor heard.