Now That It’s Cool To Be Indian

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Something odd that has been brought to the surface recently is how things taken from Indian culture that once evoked responses of disgust are now “cool”. I read a post on the Facebook group #SubtleCurryTraits about how the stereotypical “white girl” who years earlier considered turmeric disgusting in “yellow rice”, now adds tumeric to their chai teas for the “health benefits”.

Well, the tide has turned. The teenage heart throb of my youth, Nick Jonas, chose to marry the stunning, Priyanka Chopra. But despite this change in heart by America as a nation, I’d argue that things really aren’t better. You must be thinking- isn’t this sudden love of all things Indian supposed to be great news? Indian culture may now be “in” but the truth is that I still know too many Indians who are ashamed of their culture, petrified of being labeled a FOB and are unable to erase the years of shame that we’ve associated with being Indian because of pop culture’s previous narrative. A message in which the worth or lack thereof, of an India in media was communicated by the void of people who looked like me on television shows, ads or magazines
and honestly, even within India’s own media that continues to refuse to include women of medium or darker shades on media platforms.

We still live in the same country in which I heard the white kid next door telling me that my people should get out of his white neighborhood. There are still people who are told that they smell like “curry”, presumably from people actually knowing what curry smells like. Or you still find the white guys on dating apps who only like Indian girls and treat an entire people group as a fetish. This leads to whole groups of desi people who refuse to engage in anything that associates them with their culture. Forbidden activities include but are not limited to: eating with their hands, being caught speaking their mother tongue or even spending a week in India.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not actually cool to be Indian. It’s only cool in the same way that people like dressing up on Halloween or decorating their Christian tree once a year, it’s exoticized. But even when this fad changes, I’ll still wearing my lengha blouses mixed and matched with American gowns. I’ll still try to rock my lengha skirt with a button down and my salwars pants with American tops. Because just as much as I identify as an American as my nationality, I am still and will always be Indian and that doesn’t need to be cool to you. It’s me.

How To Style a Lengha

If you’re an Indian woman, chances are that you have a lengha sitting in your closet. It feels like such a shame to me that such a beautiful garment could be worn maybe once or twice and then completely forgotten. Which is why I decided to show you some ways to style a lengha.

Special thank you to my friends at Mallari Productions for such amazing photos.

First Look: Traditional Outfit 

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Second Look: Lengha Botton and tank top 

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Last Look: Lengha Top and Leather Skirt 

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Comment down below, which of the looks is your favorite? If you don’t already, make sure to follow my Instagram account to stay updated on my latest photos of outfits.

Wardrobe Basics

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Excuse the spelling error for jewelry!

 

For this week’s video, I’m sharing some wardrobe basics that I personally find so essential in my daily wardrobe. Watch the video of me explaining my picks by clicking here! Below the  YouTube video you’ll also find links in the description with some recommendations to specific products. jewelry

Makeup Makes you Prettier?

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Be ready for this week’s video! Every Monday by 6pm for the next 7 weeks.

I know what you’re thinking. Duh Nina, of course makeup makes you prettier. Please choose a more though provoking topic next time. But wait- random stranger or perhaps friend reading my blog post, there’s more. I’d like to argue that although makeup can superficially improve your outward appearance, true beauty comes from who you are. Ah, what a cliche message? But I swear it’s true, and if you were to really believe this truth, it may very well change how you choose to live your life.

I’ve been there. I’ve been completed obsessed with how I looked and to be honest, there are benefits. And, I mean, can you blame me? Look at our society, look at our culture. Women are praised for the appearance alone. There was a point in my life when I’d rather be called pretty than anything else. Songs, movie and media praise women for looking nice. In a world in which we make opinions about people within seconds of meeting them, how you choose to dress and groom yourself appears to be of utmost importance, but the bible has a different argument.

1 Timothy 2:9-10

“9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

 

I was sitting at a bakery reading the above passage, mid bite of delicious chocolate cake, when first a wave of anger hit me, then conviction. How often did I rely on my looks or clothing to represent myself rather than my deeds? How many times had I in heels and a full face of makeup treated other people with contempt? The world may praise my cute outfit combos but the bible was pretty clear about its standards for women of God. I was spending way too much time in my life investing in something that wasn’t even important. I’m reminded of the comic below:

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Yes, makeup can make you prettier but who you makes you beautiful. Who you transcends the wrinkles of age or the random parts of your face you happen to not like.