Part I analyzed Selena Gomez’s new song, “Come and Get It.” But this is only
part of the song’s story. Selena’s performance of “Come and Get It” on the
MTV Movie Awards show sparked a controversy over her decision to wear a bindi. Here is a summary of the controversy:

1. SYNTHESIS – a blend of different elements
Selena Gomez unveiled her new hit single “Come and Get It” at the MTV
Movie Awards show on April 13th. The performance featured a
SYNTHESIS of her mid-tempo pop song paired with classic Indian dance
moves.

2. CONSPICUOUS – very visible
Selena sparked a controversy by wearing a very CONSPICUOUS
sparkling bindi on her forehead.

3. AUSPICIOUS – favorable and promising; propitious
The bindi is a forehead decoration placed between the eyebrows.
Traditionally the area between the eyebrows is said to be the sixth chakra,
a seat of “concealed wisdom.” The bindi is said to retain energy and
strengthen concentration. It also symbolizes AUSPICIOUSNESS
and good fortune.

4. REBUKE – to sharply scold; upbraid
Selena’s use of the bindi APPALLED (outraged) some Hindu leaders.
Rajan Zed, leader of the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued the
following statement after Selena’s MTV performance in which he
sternly REBUKED the pop princess: “The bindi on the forehead is an
ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance…It’s not
meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion
accessory aiming at mercantile greed. Selena should apologize and then
she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions.”

5. REBUT – to counter and argument or accusation
Selena’s Indian supporters promptly posted tweets REBUTTING Zed’s
argument. For example, one poster wrote that, “Plenty of Bollywood
actresses wear bindis and they don’t get any flak for that.” Another
pointed out that Selena is not the first celebrity to wear a bindi: “Julia
Roberts, Madonna, and Oprah all wore bindis without causing any
controversy. So why is Selena being treated differently?”

6. TRIVIAL – small and insignificant
One of my Indian students spoke for many others when he said:
“Everyone should stop making a big fuss about such a TRIVIAL
matter.”

7. MEASURED – calm and restrained
Selena refused to back down. Instead of apologizing, the 20-year-old
singer wore her bindi again the very next day on the Ellen DeGeneres
Show. During an interview with Elvis Duran on the Z100 morning show
Selena gave a tactful and carefully MEASURED explanation of her
decision to continue wearing a bindi: “I’ve been learning about my
chakra and bindis and the culture…It’s beautiful.”

8. AFFRONT (to offend a person or a group)
I accept Selena’s explanation. I do not believe that she intended to
AFFRONT (offend) anyone. I agree with another Internet poster
who added the following DISCERNING (perceptive) point: “So what
if Selena is not Indian. That is a little like saying Indians shouldn’t
wear Western clothing because they are Indian. There is no reason for
this to be a CONTENTIOUS (controversial) issue. Everyone should
chill and enjoy her performance.”

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