ASOS have been forced to apologise after being accused of racism for selling this product
They described the asian headpiece as a ‘Faux Pearl Chandelier Hair Clip’
People are accusing ASOS of culturally appropriating after selling a south asian headpiece, known as a maang tikka, under the description of “Faux Pearl Chandelier Hair Clip”.
A maang tikka is a traditional south asian piece of jewellery worn from the centre of their hairline to the forehead, over the ajna chakra. Often worn by brides, it’s symbolic of their third eye and the spiritual, physical and emotional union between two people.
On ASOS, the accessory was modelled by a white woman, and retailed for £6. It has since been removed from the site.
This comes after ASOS removing all bindis from their site last year when they came under fire for culturally appropriating.
Farsa Chaudhry, who posted about the item in Facebook group Race Matters, told babe: “This is cultural appropriation at its finest. Even if they had attempted to call it a bindi, or a tikka, whatever the most commonly used term is, just do your research. But to take something that’s a part of south Asian culture in its design and style, and then call it a head chandelier is ridiculous.
“It’s not always about appropriation, but at least show a culture a level of respect by using the correct name for the item you’re capitalising from.”
— Bollywood Qing™ ? (@BollywoodQing) April 5, 2017
Oxford University student Akriti Nanda, who lived in India until she was five, told babe: “This is very basic and obvious cultural appropriation – taking a cultural product and stripping it of its origin. Then to add insult they call it a ‘chandelier hair clip’!
“ASOS has a habit of stealing things from other cultures, whilst simultaneously erasing the origins, for their profit only and to no benefit of the culture it comes from. You’d think by now they’d have learnt their lesson.
“I really hate seeing items that are part of my culture stripped from their origins and worn as ‘edgy’ and ‘alternative’ accessories (especially at festivals).”
In response to this, ASOS have said: “We apologise for any offence that may have been caused. We have now removed this product from our site.”