(Closed) Sister wants to wear sari for a bridesmaid dress

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 74
Member
265 posts
Helper bee

If I was the OP I wouldn’t come back to this thread either. She wanted an answer, not whatever the heck happened on these last five pages. 

 

Post # 75
Member
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

busyhbee :  You really need to specify some guidelines for dresses!

First, actually being Indian, wearing a sari isn’t something you want to do for the first time at a wedding. It’s actually one big piece of cloth that is folded and then tied. If you dont wear them all the time it takes some getting use to, and it can be hard to re-adjust the sari if you need to use the ladies. Since I dont wear saris often, I dont feel comfortable in them.

I’d point out they are also expensive too. Your sis will be paying a lot for something she may not be able to even fold correctly. Also, sometimes if you aren’t an expert in folding them, the knot can come loose….and I’m sure your sis doesnt want to show some old male relative too much skin.

If she really wants to wear something indian, I’d recommend a sarwal kameez. Please buy from an indian store or retailer (or like a place from “little india”) to ensure it’s culturally correct (no cultural appropriation, and they can help with making sure you are wearing it right). I wear mine with jeans or leggings since the pants dont always fit me. You could compromise with her and have her wear one to the rehearsal dinner and a dress of your pick to the wedding.

If I were you, I’d create a facebook group or something similar and allow your maids to post photos of their dress so they can create consensus about something similar together. My maids found $40 matching dresses on Amazon, and it turned out beautifully.

Post # 76
Member
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Lavender28 :  Just adding to the convo.

Going off your post, I’d also like to remind everyone here arguing about cultural appropriation, that many of these retailers are actual indian people. Many indian people run indian resturants. The whole idea of “i’m a culture not a costume” makes sense for halloween, but not for everyday life. I think this whole cultural appropriation thing can be used to stymie minority business people. If I like calaveras art and buy from hispanic artists, I’m supporting hispanic artists and not being racist or appropriating culture. Similarly, if you buy from Indian retailers, you are supporting them economically.

 If you are going to borrow from another culture, do it right. It’s ok with this indian woman if you as a non-indian wear indian clothing. Just do it right, and that means an honest attention to get it right. 

 From an economic perspective, it’s a bit weird to encourage western people to only buy from Western retailers who sell western things.

Post # 77
Member
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

gatsbyaffair :  That’s  a really nice idea with the salwar kameez. Just to add for the OP that you can buy ‘ready made’ saris which is easier  to tie but they are a bit of a pain to wear all day. Even Indian girls often need help. I think a young girl might find them restrictive. Which is why saris are not really worn until later teens. An Indian style top and skirt  (ask for a lengha) could be an alternative as well. It has a scarf so it’s  a similar look. I wore both styles for my wedding events and the sari was beautiful  but the lengha way more comfortable. 

I also buy from only Indian retailers which is a good way to  support their trade. To be honest it’s  hard to find anything that doesn’t  come from an Indian source! 

Post # 78
Member
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

OP: You are in no way out of line to ask your sister to wear a dress that matches that of the other bridesmaids. She’s young enough that a little bit of fashion guidance probably isn’t a bad thing anyways!

And on the sidenote that this thread has apparently rabbit trailed down:

I mean, if we’re truly going to take cultural appropriation seriousy, shouldn’t people be just as offended over the misuse of Irish family tartans as a fashionable fabric; a Mjolnir pendant worn because of the Marvel movie; a Christian cross as a fashion accessory; a Jewish menorah as Christmas decoration; as they are over saris, cornrows, and hijabs? Isn’t an American observing Oktoberfest with no insight or respect of the traditional meaning it actually has to the Bavarian people be just as offensive as an American celebrating Cinco de Mayo with no insight or respect of the traditional meaning it has to the Mexican people? Shouldn’t the historical oppression of Celtic peoples be as despicable as the historical oppression of Native Americans? What about Saint Patrick’s Day, a huge aspect of Irish culture that has been turned into a day where it’s acceptable to get drunk in a giant green leprachun hat? What about the “trendiness” of throwing Hawaiian luau parties? 

Or are we only going to play the cultural appropriation card when it applies to certain groups that Tumblr deems to be worthy? 

Post # 79
Member
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

She’s 12! Everyone will understand she’s just figuring out her style. It’s no different than her dying her hair blue or purple. 

Call her your ‘Jr. Bridesmaid’. Let her wear her own thing. Hopefully the colour matches. If there’s another young girl who can be another jr bridesmaid maybe they can both wear something similar? Maybe use a piece of her sari fabric for the other bridesmaid dresses to give some continuity to the girls. 

I’m Canadian – so maybe the attitude is different here – but Canada is made up of many cultures. We love the different aspects of each culture and are usually proud if people like to try our clothes, foods, music, etc. 

Post # 80
Member
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

leonatigra :  I agree with you – I can’t find a white enough concealer either. I’ve actually used baby powder in the past as facial powder if that gives u any idea 

Post # 82
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

cassidyrue :  I’m pretty sure that people talked primarily about sarees because that’s what the thread was about.

But yes, I think that the misuse of tartan; the abuse of Norse and Celtic religious traditions; and the farce that far too many Americans turn things like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Oktoberfest into are problematic.  Every year I ask my students to reconsider how (or if) they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo in particular.  However, humorless bitch though I may be, even I don’t have enough hours in the day to give equal time to everything there is to be outraged about, and the fact of the matter is that cultural appropriation does not have the same negative effect on, to take one of your examples, the people of Bavaria, who enjoy some of the highest average quality of life ever known to humans as a species, as it does on other groups that still deal with systemic discrimination.  It’s an imperfect world out there, and we have to plug the biggest holes in the dam before we get to the smaller ones.  It’s hard to do that when people try to pretend that the big holes in the dam don’t exist or acknowlege that they exist but downplay them or just plain want to ignore them in favor of the smaller ones.

Thus, when talking about why I think cultural appropriation is something to be mindful of, the activists I reference and the examples I will use will come from those communities in the USA that are still regularly subjected to bigoted judgments that have the potential to affect the quality  of their daily life for following their traditional practices (like African-Americans who, as a PP said, can be seen as less professional when they wear cornrows).  Just because I don’t decide to be edgy and say “but what about the Bavarians?” instead of discussing the problems with turning Native American clothing into a costume (I mean it’s such a downer to make people think about groups that still face oppression that has actual consequences for their quality of liferight?) or the numerous potential issues with white people adopting things from groups that they not-so-long ago enslaved or colonized and who are still subject to systemic racism [or similar] doesn’t mean that I don’t think that idiots trying to wear something like lederhosen and getting drunk because “it’s Oktoberfest, dude!” aren’t worthy of some degree of derision. 

Post # 84
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

cassidyrue :  I would like to like this comment a thousand times. So well put and very true.

It reminds me of this video actually, please don’t watch if your easily offended! It may upset some people but when I saw it on Facebook I thought it was very true especially around Halloween. Possibly slightly more about racisim then cultural appropriation but I still think it’s a lesson in there  

 

Post # 85
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

gatsbyaffair : 

[deleted because I was responding to a comment that has been edited out]

Everyone on this thread has been arguing that there are specific things about clothes/hair that require one to consider them more carefully than eating food or buying art (I don’t feel like repeating myself, please re-read my post at the top of the last page)–no one is saying that we shouldn’t patronize any business that is run by someone of a different culture.  If one is specifically invited to wear clothing with deep traditional/ceremonial meaning that is not of one’s own culture, I absolutely agree that it is extremely problematic not to patronize the appropriate merchants.  

Post # 86
Member
2358 posts
Buzzing bee

I wish I would have leanred if it was a cultural  or if the pre teen girl just wanted to do it because she thinks they are beautiful.

But all I learned is everyone is offended by something.

Post # 87
Member
218 posts
Helper bee

prinzesschen :  I’m an American, and I completely agree. It’s gotten to the point that people look for reasons to be offended. 

Post # 88
Member
8450 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

skylar84 :  

Good point about not being easy to wear unless you are brought up to it . I wore one when living in India and I found it not easy to drape properly  and not end up looking like  badly wrapped parcel.  I bet the young girl doesnt realise what  trying to dance in it   is like either .

Post # 89
Bee
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - The Genesee Grande Hotel

Oh, boy. This is tough. I can absolutely see where you’re coming from with this and in wanting your sister to feel appreciated and not wanting to burst her bubble. But, it sounds like the vast majority of commenters are in agreeance: it is your day. I wish that I would’ve been a bit more strict in terms of what I told the girls they could/couldn’t wear. For me, I weighed the options: was I going to feel more guilty telling her not to wear what she wanted to wear, or not saying anything and looking back on the day hating my final decision. I tried to find a happy medium. Maybe tell her that she can still design the dress, but not a Sari, because of the several reasons mentioned above (and all very good ones at that). If you are going with different style dresses, then this will fit nicely, but if you’re not, then she should go with the style dress you chose. Now, of course, that’s easier said than done, and I totally feel your pain. I didn’t blog about it, but I had an issue with one of my Jr. Bridesmaids who completely flipped the script and went with a completely different dress than I had planned on cry In hindsight, it looked ok on the day of, but I did require that she went with a dress that was the same material and color as the other girls, and I made sure to have the final say in the choice that was made (she picked 3, and I chose the final one). You might try something like that? Hope this helps! 

Post # 90
Member
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

MarriedToMyWork :  I hear your point, but I think you miss mine. Your post talks about someone doing something like using a Japanese tea set to serve vodka warm, it’s ignorant and about as great as warm vodka. You mention not wearing bindis. Arianna Grande got in trouble for wearing a bindi, but Madonna was criticized for using rosary beads. Inappropriate symbols are just that, misused. There is a big difference (and any Indian retailer can tell u that too!) between a bindi and nice clothes.

Western women wearing saris or Indian clothing bought from an Indian retailer does support minority business people, so i think you have taken the bindi allegory too far. By saying western women cannot wear Indian clothing you are saying western women shouldn’t patronize these businesses that sell ethic goods which are often minority owned, and therefore styiming minority business by limiting their customer base. (And I’m using the generic you…no offense intended bee!). Consider retailer owned by Indian immigrants that sell Indian clothing or a retailer that does henna for weddings. You have in essence told western women not to buy their clothing and ethnic products because wearing it would be cultural appropriation. If they are selling in America, it is to make money and therefore an invite to buy their products and wear the clothing that they are selling. To me, that is culturally problematic to someone is trying to earn money by sharing their culture and you have decided (and not the actual minority or ethic person) wheither that is appropriate or not. I  honestly think that spreads fear that damages minority owned businesses. It’s good to share culture. For me personally, it helps me feel less weird and more comfortable myself. When Indian jewelry was trendy in America it was nice to wear my bangles to work. Since bangles did have their moment, it is still OK for me to wear them to work because they are mainstream.

I’d also say there is about as much tradition and symbolism with wearing nice jeans or a dress as there is a sarwal kameez, so i don’t see a problem with the original post. For bees here to conflate  Indian wear with geshias and hair (as one bee did, and note the OP did not say ANYTHING about hair in the original post) is to not understand Indian culture at all, which is the exact same issue you are railing about: ignorant people having opinions about other cultures they know nothing about. 

Cultural appropriation is easily avoided. If you like the culture buy from a minority owned business and try to keep it as in context as possible. Indian retailers would be thrilled silly if people started a trend and wore sarwal kameezs to parties here. They would love the extra cash and business.

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