Paradigm Shift Essay

For my essay, I want to discuss the shift of the bindi from a religious symbol into one that represents the fashion of the Indian culture. The bindi is first referenced in the Vedas, or traditional Hindu text, were the bindi is thought to symbolize the third eye. Hindu women would place the bindi in-between their eyebrows to acknowledge the third eye, and the power it contains. By acknowledging this power, Hindu women were taking steps closer to enlightenment. However, as India’s culture has become a more secular society, the bindi shifted from a religious symbol, to one of fashion. The Bollywood film industry advertised the bindi as a more orniemental piece, which is used as an accessory, rather than a symbol of the Hindu religion. Women in popular films would wear the bindi, and reinforce the beauty standards for Indian women. This shift has had a drastic effect on the bindi’s use by modern Indian women. The bindi’s evolution from a symbol of enlightenment and purity, has now become ingrained in the beauty standards of an Indian woman.

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