If we describe the black bindi as a round, red-colored dot worn by women on their foreheads, what would your response be? An undefined, vague discomfort about the definition being, well, incomplete, partial, deficient? A desire to add something more? Or a total rejection to accept this as a description of the bindi at all?
Well, if the truth be told, the Indian bindis are not always round, nor always red; it is no longer worn only on the forehead, and it isn’t associated with women of just any nationality. The bindi is specifically Indian in its origins; its genesis can in fact be traced back to a period as early as the Vedic times. Traditionally, the black bindi has been seen as a marker of a Hindu woman’s marital status, and also a symbol of the inherent strength of a woman.
Even if one chooses to overlook the metaphorical significance of Indian bindis, they can still be worn simply for their sheer ability to provide a certain wholeness to any traditional Indian outfit. black bindi in itself may seem quite small and insignificant, but its absence can make the most expensive and elegant Indian attire, be it a saree, a salwar-kameez, or a ghagra-choli, appear incomplete, as though lacking something.
Indian Bindis are essentially of two types-the stick-on kind, which you simple remove from its flap and, well, stick on the center of your forehead, and kumkum bindis, which are basically designs that you make yourself on your forehead. The variety of shapes and designs to be found in Indian bindis is huge. Indian bindi can be vertical and long or circular and short, leaf- shaped or oblong, oval or star-shaped.
A stick-on bindi can have attached to itself minute mirrors, very tiny gold or silver- colored spheres, or it can have glitters sprinkled on it (You can also stick a smaller bindi on top of a larger bindi of a different color and/or shape and create a new bindi of your own!). And as far as a kumkum bindi is concerned, its shape and design can be anything that you can possibly imagine.
If you find it really difficult to choose the right Indian bindi for your own face, a small, black bindi can be a safe bet. While such a bindi looks flattering when worn by someone with an oval face, it complements even those faces that are small and/or round.
This might sound a bit outdated, but it is advisable to choose a bindi whose color is the same as that of the clothes worn, particularly if there are one or two prominent colors in the dress. You might love experimenting with your clothes and accessories, but nothing would look weirder than a yellow bindi teamed up with a purple suit or a pink bindi with a red-colored saree. You can of course make an exception to the rule if your clothes are multi-hued.
Also, it there is hardly anything that appears more bizarre than wearing Indian bindis with western clothes like jeans and t-shirts. However, if you really want to put on a Indian bindi with western wear, you can do so if you’re wearing, say, a top with a long skirt with Indian print, or an ethnic kurti with jeans!!!