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Dabboo Ratnani’s Wife Defends Shraddha Kapoor’s War Bonnet, Says ‘We Were Not Aware’

Actor Shraddha Kapoor has been criticised for being culturally inappropriate as she is seen posing in Native American headgear for Dabboo Ratnani’s calendar.


Updated:January 31, 2019, 10:37 AM IST
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Dabboo Ratnani’s Wife Defends Shraddha Kapoor’s War Bonnet, Says ‘We Were Not Aware’
Shraddha Kapoor with Manisha Ratnani and Dabboo Ratnani during the Calendar shoot.

Celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani's much awaited annual celebrity calendar has broken the internet and fans could not stop gushing over it.

The country was in awe of the crème de la crème of Bollywood featuring on the calendar but the internet soon noticed something unique in the calendar.

In one of the pictures, Sharaddha Kapoor is seen posing in a replica of feathered headdress usually called the war bonnet worn only by the male leaders of highest order in the Native American community.

Even though Shraddha carried the look with all her panache, the picture did not go down well with people on Instagram. The comment section was flooded with criticism calling it 'culturally inappropriate' and asking Dabboo Ratnani to take down the picture immediately as it is understood to be disrespectful towards the Native American community.

Dabboo Ratnani's wife, Manisha, responded to the controversy and reportedly said, "We were not aware of this. The intention is never to hurt anyone whether it is from India or from abroad. I had no clue of the ‘cultural appropriation’ issue."

A popular fashion page on Instagram, Diet Sabya, reposted the picture and captioned it, "How many times does this exact same thing have to happen for people to learn tho? If you’re in the industry and you don’t know about all the massive controversies over using Native headdresses as fashion, then sorry, you should find another job.”

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ART OR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION? . . . According to our basic birthright source, Wikipedia, the wearing & displaying of such headdresses, and other ‘indigenous traditional arts and sacred objects’ by those who have not earned them — especially by non-Natives as fashion or costume — is considered extremely offensive by traditional Native people. The ‘controversy’ is part of a wider effort by Native American activists to highlight the ongoing cultural genocide against indigenous peoples (especially in the United States and Canada). The stupid trend of musicians and festival-goers wearing warbonnets across festivals has led to criticism by Native Americans, apologies by non-Natives, and the banning of headdresses as costumes by several big-league music festivals. We thought this was common knowledge. Yet, we are here, talking about it being appropriated by a celebrity calendar. @shraddhakapoor by @dabbooratnani for #dabbooratnanicalendar . #Dietsabya

A post shared by Diet Sabya (@dietsabya) on

This is not the first time a celebrity has being attacked for wearing the Native American headdress for photoshoots. Earlier, Sonakshi Sinha and Amrita Rao were criticised for the same.

In Hollywood, Singer Pharrell Williams apologised for wearing the feathered headdress on the cover of British Elle magazine after his fans erupted with #NotHappy hashtag and bemoaned him for wearing the war bonnet.

Even the football team, the Washington Redskins, had to change their logo and name due to the 'cultural inappropriation' pressure.

In UK, item traders were banned from selling headdress and flags of Native Americans at the Glastonbury festival without prior authorization.

This year, Dabboo Ratnani's calendar features 24 Bollywood stars - Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Alia Bhatt, Farhan Akhtar, Varun Dhawan, John Abraham, Siddharth Malhotra, Tiger Shroff, Parineeti Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, Sunny Leone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shraddha Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Kartik Aaryan, Janhvi Kapoor and Kiara Advani.

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