Celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani‘s annual calendar for 2019 is here and while the fans can’t stop gushing over all the crème de la crème of Bollywood featuring on it, actress Shraddha Kapoor‘s picture in it didn’t go down too well with the fans. The reason was that the Stree star donned a replica of feathered headdress usually called the war bonnet worn only by the male leaders of the highest order in the Native American community, the wearing of which by non-natives is considered to be extremely offensive by the Native Americans.
Though Shraddha slew the look in the picture which she captioned, “20th year edition @dabbooratnani @manishadratnani make up @shraddha.naik hair by @menonnikita #DabbooRatnaniCalendar” (sic), the comments section was flooded with criticism, calling it “culturally inappropriate” and demanded that it should be taken down immediately.
Responding to the controversy, Dabboo Ratnani’s wife, Manisha, told BollywoodLife, “We were not aware of this. The intention is never to hurt anyone whether it is from India or from abroad. I had no clue of the ‘cultural appropriation’ issue.” Diet Sabya, a popular fashion page on Instagram that claims to be committed to exposing blatant fashion copies and is liked by B-town celebs like Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Karan Johar among others, reposted the picture, accusing Shraddha of misappropriating Native American culture.
Diet Sabya captioned the image as, “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 warbonnets 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 . #Dietsabya” (sic).
However, this is not the first time that celebs in the film and fashion industries are facing eminent flak for sporting inappropriate culture. Talking of Bollywood alone, Sonakshi Sinha and Amrita Rao have been criticised earlier for the same.