Selena Gomez’ Bindi Backlash and Other Celebs Accused of Culturally Insensitive Looks

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Selena Gomez’ Bindi Backlash and Other Celebs Accused of Culturally Insensitive Looks
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Selena Gomez causes controversy by wearing a bindi

Selena Gomez has caused a controversy by wearing a bindi on her forehead during her performance of "Come & Get It" at the MTV Movie Awards. Some have dubbed her dome décor insensitive and offensive.

According to TV Guide, Rajan Zed, a spokesman for the Universal Society of Hinduism, responded to Selena's bindi by releasing this statement: "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." Selena was also accused by some fans of "cultural appropriation," and it was pointed out that her decision to wear a bindi would be like a non-Christian wearing a cross.

Selena Gomez isn't the first singer to don a bindi -- Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, and Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards are all fans of bejeweling their faces. And this isn't the first time Rajan Zed has criticized a celebrity for rocking a look that some Hindus might find culturally insensitive. In 2008, he slammed Heidi Klum for dressing up like the blue, multi-armed Hindu goddess Kali for Halloween. He told British Vogue, "Goddess Kali is not to be used in clubs for publicity stunts or thrown around loosely for dramatic effects."

Selena and Heidi aren't alone when it comes to being accused of rocking culturally insensitive looks. Here's a look at a few other celebs that caused controversies with their fashion statements:

Michelle Williams

Last month this "Oz: The Great and Powerful" star was accused of donning "redface" and posing for a racist photo shoot when she was styled to look like a Native American in AnOther magazine. Native American Aura Bogado wrote a scathing open letter to Michelle on TheNation.com that read in part, "Playing Indian not only promotes stereotypes, but violates profound spiritual significances, is tantamount to wearing blackface and prolongs a violent history of genocide and colonialism. You've done all of that with your photo-shoot costume."

Gwen Stefani

Gwen got away with rocking a bindi, but the No Doubt singer couldn't escape criticism for dressing up like a Native American princess. Her band's "Looking Hot" music video with a classic "cowboys and Indians" theme was eventually pulled from all media outlets, and No Doubt issued an apology for offending the Native American community.

Karlie Kloss

This Victoria's Secret model and her lingerie-peddling employer apologized after she rocked a racially-insensitive look on the runaway at the Victoria's Secret fashion show -- a Native American feather headdress paired with some skimpy lingerie and turquoise jewelry. The look was removed from the show's broadcast.

Candice Swanepoel

This Victoria's Secret model also rocked a controversial look. After Candice donned lingerie that was dubbed a "Sexy Little Geisha" set on the Victoria's Secret website, her employer was called out for "fetishizing Asian women." The offensive outfit was eventually removed from the company's website

Lady Gaga

Last year Mama Monster raised eyebrows by wearing a burqa during London Fashion Week. However, Islamic organizations weren't upset with the singer for deciding to cover up for once by adopting the traditional dress style of Muslim women -- they were upset that she decided to accessorize her look with a clutch adorned with the C-word.

So do you think that it's offensive for celebs to dress up like other cultures?

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