In the fashion industry, cultural appropriation is one formula which is followed unabashedly by many designers, without the fear of getting called out. But the practice is being fought against every day.
The fashion industry closer home in India too is no stranger to cultural appropriation.
Dabboo Ratnani’s recent calendar photo shoot is the latest case in point. The celebrity photographer launched his 2019 calendar on Monday (January 28) and it saw many stars featured in it. But it was one particular picture from the shoot that is grabbing eyeballs, and not exactly for the best of ’em reasons.
The picture in question is of Shraddha Kapoor wearing a Native American war bonnet for the shoot.
This monumental blunder, considering there is much dialogue about cultural appropriation all over the world at this point of time, was called out by popular Instagram account, Diet Sabya. They are known for ‘exposing’ designers selling rip-offs and copying other people’s work.
Dabboo is in the middle of a storm on social media for using a war bonnet as part of Shraddha Kapoor’s styling for his calendar photo shoot.
Diet Sabya took to Instagram today to post the picture with the caption, ART OR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION? According to our basic birthright source, Wikipedia, the wearing & displaying of such headdresses, and other indigenous traditional arts and sacred objects’ by those who have not earned them especially by non-Natives as fashion or costume is considered extremely offensive by traditional Native people. The controversy’ is part of a wider effort by Native American activists to highlight the ongoing cultural genocide against indigenous peoples (especially in the United States and Canada). The stupid trend of musicians and festival-goers wearing war bonnets across festivals has led to criticism by Native Americans, apologies by non-Natives, and the banning of headdresses as costumes by several big-league music festivals. We thought this was common knowledge. Yet, we are here, talking about it being appropriated by a celebrity calendar. @shraddhakapoor by @dabbooratnani for #dabbooratnanicalendar. (sic)
After Diet Sabya posted the picture, netizens could not stop themselves for blasting Dabboo for such ignorance and Shraddha for being a part of it. Here are some reactions:
Dabboo Ratnani launched his calendar yesterday at a party in Mumbai, which was attended by many stars like Rekha, Vidya Balan, Kiara Advani, Farhan Akhtar among others.