Problematic Pura Vida Bracelets

When I saw this ad on Facebook I was disgusted. It made me sick to my stomach. I don’t care what the heck they’re selling, this person in the ad has and Om symbol in his/her foot. How dare they? How incredibly rude and disrespectful can this company, Pura Vida be? In Hindu culture, the Om is a sacred symbol that is to be held to the highest esteem and is to be absolutely nowhere near the ground and especially NOT the feet, one of the dirtiest parts of one’s body. This image is hurtful and highly offensive, and it is evident to me that the marketing team and creators are culture competent. I did a bit of research on the team and one the creators, two young caucasian guys that are both recent college graduates. I am SO incredibly sick and tired and fed up of white people thinking its “cute” trendy” and “hipster” to exploit, disrespect and appropriate culture from people of color. This isn’t okay and there are a ton of advertisements and rhetoric like this and its absolutely absurd. There’s a difference between appropriation and appreciation. If one TRULY appreciated the culture they would know and understand that nothing about placing an Om on the foot is okay, this isn’t cool at all. I was so upset about this, I decided to give this company a call and after they chose not to pick up the phone, I decided to write a strongly worded email, to the marketing head of this company expressing my disappointment and disgust and asking them to remove this ad from all the platforms. I doubt that they’ll even acknowledge my email but I know I did something to speak out against something that I find disturbing and hurtful.

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