Most of you, well probably all of you, might not know, but I am dating a member of the Sioux tribe.
Rian is a quarter Sioux and received the official recognition from the tribe a few years ago.
Anyway, Rian and I once joked that if we have children, they're going to be the ultimate hippies.
And the more I think about it, the more I realize it's true.
Both of our Indian ethnicities are considered "new age" and "sexy" in the western world. Our ancestral backgrounds have become a novelty.
Think of how many young people do yoga, consult gurus, and brag about spending a summer in an ashram, only in a desperate attempt to be cool. Or do peyote or go to rainbow gatherings, without respecting the rituals or understanding the meaning.
And then there's the fashion.
For example, just sift through photos of Coachella outfits.
While Rian's sweet little Indian grandmother spends hours carefully crafting bead work for legitimate pow wows on Sioux reservations, these 20-something girls are flaunting the native style like they own it.
And both Gwen Stefani and Lana Del Rey were called out for using Native American style to sex up their appeal in music videos.
When the videos came out, people in the Native American community were outraged. The head dress is not a fashion accessory, they cried out. It's a symbol for an entire culture. They saw the videos as a mockery of their heritage.
Meanwhile, on the other Indian side, we've had everyone from Julia Roberts to Selena Gomez wear a jeweled bindi on their forehead. And everyone from Pamela Anderson to the Pussycat Dolls waltz the red carpet in sarees.
When Selena recently wore a bindi during a seductive VMA performance, the incident received worldwide negative press and tweets from Indians who were offended. In fact, officials at the Universal Society of Hinduism insisted Selena should apologize for making a mockery of the religious symbol.
Now, I'm not saying that fashion trends or style influenced by these cultures is completely tasteless.
But I do think there's a fine line between borrowing customs for style and creating costumes as style.
I own a pair of Minnetonka moccasins. They're adorable. And I love wearing feathers in my hair.
But you wouldn't catch me going to a music festival in full headdress. I think that's disrespectful.
The same goes with the other Indian culture. I love wearing mehndi in the summer. I own a stash of decorative bindis.
But then again, I kind of cringe when I think of pop tarts using a religious symbol, such as a bindi, as a form of sexualization. Maybe I'm too critical, but that does seem culturally insensitive to me. There's a difference between making a fashion statement with respect and making a mockery of it with sex.
The same goes for any other culture.
But the line is really up to us. And unfortunately, it's located in different places for different people. What I don't find offensive might enrage a devout Hindu.
After all, nothing is black and white.
There are millions of people all over the world who genuinely adore the Native American culture and find it an inspiring influence. Just like there are millions of people all over the world who do yoga for the health benefits and pursue Hinduism because it genuinely speaks to them.
But when it comes to fashion, the line is there.
What are your thoughts on hipster racism? Is your style inspired by other cultures? Have you ever been unsure where to draw the line?