Posting for reclaimthebindi week because, earlier this week when I put on the bindi for the first picture, my first thought was “I look really Indian,” and my first instinct was to change that.

But after seeing all the incredible and amazing people and posts during reclaim the bindi week has helped me realized that it’s okay to look Indian, no matter what anyone will say; it’s okay to wear something of my culture and be happy with how I look with it on.

Which is why, when I put on the bindi on today to take the last pictures, I didn’t feel the panicked need to immediately remove it. I, for once, wasn’t scared of how different I looked with it on; I sort of even liked it.

But that doesn’t mean I will go around wearing a bindi every day as a fashion statement. The bindi is not a fashion statement; it’s part of a culture, it has cultural significance. I will wear it when I’m wearing cultural clothes or attending cultural event; not when I’m in non cultural clothes and want to wear something fashionable.

Because the bindi isn’t a trend; it’s not a fashion, and if it’s not part of your culture and you’ve been wearing it simply because it looks pretty, please stop. You’re disrespecting a culture and it’s people and traditions, and you’re taking something that’s not yours to have. You’re wearing something that, if a desi person wore freely around like you do, they’d be ridiculed and called names and maybe even be hurt, while you’re being lauded for your “fashion”. If someone who is South Asian has invited you to partake in an activity that required to wear a bindi;that’s okay for that one time. But if you’re wearing one as a trend, please please stop.

And shout out to everyone who’s posted or supported this amazing movement; you’re all incredible people and thank you so much for helping me realize it’s okay to look different and to be me.