Selena Gomez Won’t Give Up the Bindi at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards
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Selena Gomez Won’t Give Up the Bindi at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards

If tonight's Billboard Music Awards are any indication, Selena Gomez is still pretty unapologetic about wearing a bindi. While it's been worn as a fashion accessory by non-South Asian celebs before — Gwen Stefani comes to mind — Selena has recently drawn criticism from Hindu groups that say she's appropriating the bindi.

Selena first caused a stir when she wore a bindi while performing her single "Come and Get It" at the MTV Movie Awards, and she hasn't really shown much hesistation in continuing to wear it, despite protests.

"The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance," said Hindu statesman Rajan Zed when Selena first stepped out in a bindi. "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."

Selena called the original bindi-featuring outfit a "glam tribal" look, which doesn't really help her look like she's not totally appropriating a religious symbol.

“The song kind of has that almost Hindu feel, that tribal feel. I kind of wanted to translate that,” said Selena to Z100's Elvis Duran in April, “Plus, I’ve been learning a lot about my seven chakras and bindis and stuff. I’ve learned a lot about the culture, and I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s fun to incorporate that into the performance."

She claims that "If you’re fully aware of [a symbol], you should have the freedom to enjoy it.”

We're glad she's done her research, but at the same time it seems like it's not that hard to just not wear a bindi if someone is upset.

What do you think? Should she give up the bindi and apologize?

See her 2013 Billboard Music Awards performance below!

05.19.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Sarah Anne Lloyd
Related: News, Music, Selena Gomez

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