OH MY GIRL is back on the hot seat after their KCON:TACT 2020 SUMMER performance and is being accused of cultural appropriation—again.
In a special stage performance at KCON:TACT 2020 SUMMER on June 24, members Mimi and YooA were seen engaging in what appeared to be something called cultural appropriation.
YooA was seen wearing a jewel in the middle of her forehead, which appeared to be a variation of a Bindi.
A Bindi is a significant part of Hindu culture. It’s always a red dot in the middle of the forehead and typically represents that a woman is married. It’s also said to be the third eye in the Hindu religion and is said to ward off bad luck.
Mimi has also been accused of cultural appropriation. She was seen wearing jewelry on her head that’s called a Matha Patti.
The headpiece Mimi wore is a traditional Indian piece of jewelry. It’s a decorated chain worn along the hairline that is typically worn by brides. However, it’s recently become “in vogue” for nearly all Asian ethnicities and is also mostly seen being worn by brides.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time OH MY GIRL has been accused of engaging in this kind of cultural appropriation. Their song “Windy Day” was also accused of being an example of cultural appropriation, such as when Hyojung was seen wearing a Bindi during a fansign.
“Windy Day” also featured Indian or Southeast Asian musical elements, which earned the group the nickname “curry-dols.” The song’s dance also featured the “Aladdin dance,” even though the tale of Aladdin originated in the Middle East.
Last fall, the group was yet again accused of the same type of cultural appropriation, as seen through a performance of “Guerilla” on Queendom.
The use of these traditional elements from various parts of Indian culture is being felt like an act of disrespect to fans of this culture. These traditional elements, like the Bindi or Matha Patti, are being taken out of context to be used as a fashion statement and are angering many fans.
Most of all, fans wanted an apology. Though this marks yet another instance that OH MY GIRL has done this, there’s been no statements or apologies from either OH MY GIRL or their company, WM Entertainment, though some say the girls are not allowed to apologize.
There’s no telling when an apology will come, if one does at all. In the meantime, fans sincerely hope that OH MY GIRL, and ideally all of K-Pop, will stop following such “trends” and show greater respect for other cultures.