When Selena Gomez wore a bindi at the MTV Movie Awards, we weren’t really offended by the bindi – we were offended by how bad her Bollywood-inspired performance was.
While neoconservatives are crying “sacrilegious!” over Selena Gomez’s bindi at the MTV Movie Awards, we stifled a collective yawn while watching the lacklustre performance. I was more offended by her off-key singing and the silly, poorly executed “Indian”–style dancing by Selena and her backup dancers, than her wearing a bindi (kind of got over my feelings of cultural ownership of the bindi after Madonna, Gwen, and everyone else experimented with being Indian in the 90s).
The issue shouldn’t be around cultural or religious ownership of the bindi, but how her overall performance is a mishmash of poorly executed cultural appropriation – although I’ll admit that the opening tabla beats were quite nice. The dance moves were sad – we’ve seen better Indian-inspired moves on So You Think You Can Dance? – and the music production is your typical pop-music-created-for-TV-stars-turned-singers, with some “ethnic” sounds to make it sound exotic. Give me Dre or Jay Z sampling Bollywood tunes and Bhangra beats any day.
Watch Selena Gomez’s performance of Come and Get It at the MTV Movie Awards 2013
So Selena, here’s our advice: get a voice coach and a better choreographer (any maybe a stylist too, what is with that dress?), and call us when your next single drops.
Photography: Jezebel.com, in.msn.com, MTV Blog