Why You Should Think Twice Before Wearing This Type Of Hair Jewelry

Many fashion accessories that are widely used originated from other cultures. Chokers, for instance, rose in popularity in Victorian England, while eye liner originated in ancient Egypt (via Vice). As the world "shrinks" ever smaller with increased access to the internet, global tourism, and through international trade and business, it makes sense that people will pick up, share, and adopt pieces of fashion from different places and cultures. But giving credit where credit is due is essential when it comes to using aesthetics or styles that originated elsewhere, especially when those things have significant religious or cultural meaning. 

Fail to do this (and worse, profit off of it), and you are likely guilty of cultural appropriation. According to Oxford, the definition of cultural appropriation is "the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another." The latest company to come under fire for doing just that was Asos. 

How Asos made a misstep, and how to avoid the same mistake

British brand Asos has been selling a piece of jewelry that is known in South Asian cultures as a Tikka. As noted by Vogue, a Tikka is a headpiece worn traditionally by Indian women at weddings or parties. The fact that Asos was selling the headpiece wasn't what people were upset about. Asos ran into trouble because of the way it labeled the Tikka-style jewelry it was selling. Rather than calling it a Tikka, thereby giving due credit to the culture from which it comes, the company called it a "chandelier head clip," as noted by Global News. Asos is just one of many companies that has been called out for cultural appropriation

Based on the look of a Tikka, the name made aesthetic sense, since a Tikka does resemble a chandelier design. The issue, however, was that the company never mentioned the work "Tikka" or its cultural heritage and background. 

Naturally, people on social media were quick to complain. A stay-at-home mom from London, whose complaint over the product went viral, was interviewed by Global News to discuss her thoughts. "I found it more frustrating than anything," she said. "It was a clear lack of knowledge on Asos' behalf ... You can't just blatantly take something from another culture and give no acknowledgment, that is highly offensive."

So next time you're looking at head jewelry, make sure to do your homework.