- Outraged Hindus take to Twitter denouncing Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar for depicting the “bare-bodied Durga Ma.”
Rapper Cardi B is not new to controversy and once again finds herself in the eye of the storm. This time, she’s specifically experiencing the wrath of Indians who are upset over her latest photoshoot for her new brand of sneakers called ‘Club C Cardi’ sneaker collection in collaboration with Reebok. The 28-year-old rapper posted a picture of herself posed as Goddess Durga, holding a bright red sneaker in her hand. The picture was intended to pay homage to the goddess and showcase Cardi B as a warrior woman.
Immediately following the post, Cardi B came under fire on the Internet, with Twitter exploded with outrage, dissing her for her audacity. Many netizens did not take kindly to the rapper comparing herself to the revered goddess, while others were shocked at her bare-bodied homage.
Many Indians, especially Hindus let their opinion be known on social media. Many tweeted that the photo hurt the religious sensibilities of Hindus. The fact that Cardi B was wearing a red cleavage-showing dress and holding shoes in her hands and overall giving an impression of Goddess Durga was felt to be disrespectful to Indians.
Isha on Twitter points out, “So many people are saying Cardi B is paying homage to our Hindu Goddess Durga. As a Hindu, I want to say that Durga Maa is never depicted bare-bodied. Secondly, it is prohibited to wear shoes in a temple and this woman is holding a shoe in her hand while depicting Goddess Durga.”
Another irate Indian/Hindu, Geeta on Twitter says, “Using Durga Maa to sell trainers??? When are people gonna realize our gods and goddesses aren’t there to be mimicked.”
Another netizen in no uncertain terms says, “Cardi B. out here thinking she’s Ma Durga. Ma’am no, you aren’t. Stop messing with others’ religion. And yet AGAIN no one will give two f$%#@ about this except for us.”
One Twitter user wrote, “Cardi B did not pay ‘homage’ to the Hindu Goddess Durga by holding a shoe in her hand, this is plain disrespect and in no way cultural appreciation. She can’t get away with this without addressing and apologizing for mocking our culture.”
Another said, “Apparently this is Cardi B paying ‘homage’ to the Hindu Goddess Durga…This is straight-up racist.”
“Coward Cardi B has deactivated her account. Otherwise, we could have taught Cardi B in how many ways she is different from Goddess Durga (including she is a human),” wrote yet another user.
Many went so far as to say that this was just another example of western celebrities culturally appropriating Indian culture for aesthetic purposes and not really understanding the real meaning behind it.
The magazine Footwear News also posted the same image on their Instagram, talking about how Cardi B is promoting her sneaker collection on the cover of the November edition of their magazine.
Their caption reads, “If Cardi’s rockin’ it, go buy stock in it. That’s a tip as FN’s November cover star Cardi B makes her first major foray into the shoe industry with the Nov. 13 debut of her ‘Club C Cardi’ sneaker collection with Reebok. In a Georges Hobeika dress, she pays homage to Durga, the Hindu goddess, whose symbols of protection and inner strength resonate as much in modern times as they have through the centuries. Like Durga, Cardi B is a dominant female voice at a critical time.”
However, the WAP star was quick to address the tirade online and apologized for offending the sentiments of people. She took to her Instagram stories and said, “A lot of my fans have been telling me that I’m getting dragged through social media. And they say it’s because of my Reebok shoot and saying that I disrespected a Goddess. When I did the shoot the creatives told me I was going to represent a Goddess, that she represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something that I love and I’m all about, and thought it was dope. But if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say that was not my intent.”She further stated, “I do not like offending anyone’s religion; I wouldn’t like it if someone did it to my religion. When people dress as Virgin Mary and Jesus, as long as they do it in a beautiful, graceful way…But I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful; maybe I should have done my research. I’m sorry, I can’t change the past but I will do more research for the future.”