As the clock ticks down to Halloween and you find yourself once again without a costume there may be a sense of mild panic setting in. But there’s a new trend hitting the streets, one that fuses the classic scare factor of a macabre skeleton with the glorious beauty of traditional Indian aesthetics. The #badbeti movement is sweeping across Instagram and people can’t get enough of it.
It began with an illustration by the extremely talented artist, Maria Qamar AKA Hatecopy whose wonderfully opinionated work we have featured before. Her gold-laden unapologetically Indian skull has been catching the eye of desi girls all over the world. Professional make-up artist, Jasmine Lakhesar used it as inspiration for a stunningly unique look which the people of Instagram have been recreating in a myriad of creative ways.
The illustration is part of a new exhibition in collaboration with the equally talented artist, Babneet Lakhesar who goes by the name BabbuThePainter. Both girls are of Indian origin but have lived their whole lives in Canada, this new series aims to bridge the gap between cultures.
It addresses the need people feel to assimilate new cultures thereby compromising their cultural identity. As Babneet says “I don’t give an ‘Indian twist’ to work/myself. I’m an Indian – Canadian who builds a bridge between my two cultures to create meaningful art. This isn’t a skull that I put an ‘Indian Twist’ on, it’s more than that.” This issue of being treated as exotic when trying to accept your own culture is a struggle that a lot of immigrant children face and #badbeti is trying to remove the stigma attached to embracing and expressing your own culture.
With the movement well underway there are plenty of badass desi women proudly declaring their national pride and shutting down haters once and for all.