Teeny-bopper and famous girlfriend Selena Gomez is raising the ire of a Hindu group after sporting a bindi on her forehead during the MTV Movie Awards. The pop-singer and Spring Breakers star performed her new song, “Come & Get it” as part of a Bollywood-themed dance number, and wore a number of the traditional Hindu markings on her lower forehead between her eyes.
Rajan Zed, the leader of the Universal Society of Hinduism, took issue with Gomez’ casual use of the religious decoration that is usually worn by Hindu women primarily in southern Asia. The bindi represents the sixth chakra in the Hindu religion, and is an indication of “concealed wisdom.” It is said to help retain energy, strengthen concentration, and focus kundalini energy as it leaves the body. Bindis are worn everyday by many Hindu women, and are worn during holy festivals as well.
According to E! Entertainment News, Zed said that “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,” he added. “Selena should apologize and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions.”
Zed has demanded that Gomez apologize for what his group describes as an inappropriate use of the religious accessory.
Supporting Gomez and her bindi-wearing is writer Kritika Kapoor, who wrote in an editorial published in the Times of India, “While international blogs are calling it ‘tribal finery,’ we can spot a good bindi when we see it.”
E! also reprinted select Twitter users, who commented on the headgear worn by Gomez. “wtf selena gomez? really. Bollywood community r u pissed because you should be,” tweeted @reachguest. “Selena’s not even wearing a traditional bindi, she’s just wearing a decorative one. Stop overreacting, she’s not doing anything wrong,” said @Fearlesswithsel.
Gomez herself has not commented on the controversy surrounding her bejeweled forehead. But, perhaps based on the controversy she stirred on Sunday’s show, she wore a similar bindi when performing a pre-taped segment on “Ellen” that will air today.
Image Credit: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok