Today we got the news that my boyfriend’s brother will be marrying in India next year. Very exciting, obviously. Right away I’m buzzing thinking about visiting India (and Asia) for the first time, meeting my bf’s family, and taking part in a real Indian wedding.
After an extended facetime chat with family back home, my bf puts his phone down and says we should talk about what I’ll wear. An Indian wedding is 5 days long. I should get 3 Western outfits and 2 Indian outfits, he says. The thought of wearing a decadent, sparkling saree makes me grin from ear to ear, but not a second later I’m filled with sadness as the words ‘cultural appropriation’ float through my mind. It sounds ridiculous, I’m fully aware. But I’m a white person living in 2017 and I’m effing terrified of being offensive. Just yesterday I saw an article titled something along the lines of ‘A History of white girls wearing bindis’ and I couldn’t even read it.
My boyfriend will encourage it and tell me not to worry, I’m sure. And I’m good friends with the groom, who will say the same. Those are the people that matter most. But it will be huge, 300+ people if the sweet-but-prone-to-exaggerate mother of the groom is to be believed. What will women my age think? Am I going to get dirty looks if I wear Indian dress to an Indian wedding? I want to, because it’s beautiful and because I want the whole experience. But I also don’t want to make people mad.