"Chandelier! U'd think that if they gunna steal an idea they would get name right.Tickli or tikka but hell no to chandelier!."
ASOS, Britain’s largest online fashion retailer has received criticism on social media for showcasing a ‘Chandelier Hair Clip’ on their website, that resembles the traditional South Asian bridal accessory, Maang Tikka.
The website has been accused of culture appropriation, for taking the idea from the South Asian culture. Yet, failing to reference or credit its initial roots and identity. Following this backlash, the offending product appears to have been removed from ASOS.
Traditionally, South Asian brides are accessorised with a Maang Tikka or a Bindiya hanging from their forehead. This piece of bridal jewellery adds a graceful touch and completes the look of the bride.
A symbolic cultural sparkle, which also reflects the family background and the position of the bride within the society. Decorated with precious gems and stones, the Maang Tikka is usually made up of a large centre circle.
Yet, by renaming this bridal identity, ASOS has offended and effectively lost the cultural significance of the Maang Tikka.
On their website, the jewellery piece was modelled by a non-Asian woman and retailed for only £6. Whereas on South Asian jewellery websites, such as Deeya Jewellery, it ranges between £60-£120, with precious works of Kundan art.
And so, the offending item didn’t go well with the South Asian women on Twitter:
— aisha (@ashibob) April 4, 2017
In reply to the above tweet, another user Vijay Patel tweets an image of a Chandelier, expressing the difference between the two items:
— Vijay Patel (@vjpatel01) April 4, 2017
Twitter users have slammed the company for their ignorance and lack of appreciation of borrowing from the South Asian culture.
ASOS has been accused of ‘stealing’ traditions from other cultures. One Twitter user Rep Star says: “Chandelier! U’d think that if they gunna steal an idea they would get name right. Tickli or tikka but hell no to chandelier!.”
Meanwhile, another user Bubbles says:
“Earrings that resemble this sort of design are also called chandelier earrings, even in South Asia. So I dunno what the big deal is.”
And, it’s not the first time the brand has come under fire for something similar. In 2015, ASOS attracted criticism after their Halloween inspired items involved a range of Bindis. Labelled as ‘In Your Dreams Empress Haloween Bindi Multipack,’ this product was also found offensive, associated with the themes of frightening masks and costumes. ASOS then removed all Bindi’s from their website after the backlash
ASOS has not yet responded to the cultural appropriation allegations of the Maang Tikka.