According to a piece in the totally logical social-justice blog Everyday Feminism, it is racist and offensive to wear toe rings or bangle bracelets in almost any situation.
Yep. According to the article’s author, Aarti Olivia, wearing these kinds of jewelry amounts to an appropriation of South Asian culture.
Olivia explains that in her culture, “it has been traditionally expected that married women wear bangles,” and that although that tradition is no longer “imposed upon women,” they do “wear them for religious or festive occasions.”
“In pop culture, you have probably seen the likes of Iggy Azalea and Selena Gomez wear them for music videos and performances,” Olivia writes.
And that, she continues, is not okay.
In fact, according to Olivia, there is only one very specific situation in which a non-South Asian person such as a yucky whitey can wear this type of bracelet:
“If you are in attendance of a Hindu friend’s matrimonial functions and the dress code is Indian ethnic — but [yes, there’s more!] be sure to check with your host first.”
Her rule for toe rings, which, she explains, are “also known as the Bichiya or Metti,” are even more strict:
When is it acceptable to wear a Bichiya toe ring?
• If you are married to a South Asian.
Yikes. Somebody had better tell Claire’s.