Sacri-wha? In continued defiance of Hindu cleric Rajan Zed’s criticism, Selena Gomez again wore a Bindi as an accessory as she performed her single “Come and Get It” on Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, April 24.
Gomez was chastised by Zed for wearing a large red bindi during her performance at the MTV Movie Awards on April 14. “The Bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance,” Zed said, calling it “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 apologise and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions.”
Not only did the former Disney star not apologize, she went on to wear the Bindi on The Ellen Degeneres Show and Dancing With The Stars. However, Gomez does claim she has been studying “the culture.” “I’ve been learning about my chakra and bindis and the culture – it’s beautiful,” she told New York’s Z100 Morning Show on Wednesday, April 24. She explained she has been wearing the Bindi while performing “Come and Get It” because, “I think the song has that Hindu, tribal feel and I wanted to translate that.”
Gomez’s appropriation of the Bindi has had ’90s babies name-checking Gwen Stefani, who accessorized with the traditional jewellery circa 1997. Stefani explained she was inspired by the mother of her ex-boyfriend, No Doubt bassist Tony Kamal. No Doubt had their own sensitivity scandal recently–the “cowboys and indians”-themed video for their single “Looking Hot,” which featured Stefani wearing a feather-headband, was pulled after critics questioned its portrayal of native stereotypes.
Gomez is a Catholic from Texas whose father is Mexican and whose on-again boyfriend Justin Bieber describes his ethnicity as “part Indian” so he can “get free gas.” Considering that pedigree, she really needs to stop trying to make Bindis happen. Alas, she seems as committed to the look as Justin Timberlake is to the Tom Ford suit and tie. Let’s just hope that the music video takes a light hand in its interpretation of a “Hindu, tribal feel.”