Hindu Group Seeks Apology from Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio for Using Sacred Icon to Sell Bikinis
An Indian American activist Hindu group is urging Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio to publicly apologize and rename her recently launched bikini collection, ‘Yantra Style,’ calling it highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement, said that “ancient yantra, a visual equivalent of mantra – which represented the goddesses and the cosmos – was a serious and sacred symbol/concept used for Hindu liturgy, and meditation and was installed in many Hindu temples.”
Its intersecting triangles represented Siva and Shakti, and many times it was meditated upon as a deity, he said.
Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that the “highly revered” yantra was meant to be used as part of worship in temples and home shrines and not to be used in selling bikinis for “mercantile greed.”
“It is very disrespectful to link such a sacred symbol with a product which touched pelvis and buttocks,” he said.
Zed further said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities, concepts, icons, or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Ambrosio is the cofounder of the made in Brazil swimwear brand Gal Floripa, which produces bikinis and swimsuits, and recently launched the rust colored ‘Yantra Style’ bikinis, claiming to be inspired by the ‘Sri Yantra’ symbol.
The tagline of the clothing brand is “Awake your goddess within.” The bikini is priced at $200.
“How could a bikini (even after absurdly linking it to sacred yantra) bring enlightenment as indicated by Ambrosio’s firm?” Zed questioned.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously, Zed noted, adding symbols of any faith, large or small, should not be mishandled.
Ambrosio has modeled for Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, and Armani Exchange, among others.