Kim Kardashian accused of cultural appropriation after wearing Hindu-inspired 'Om' earrings

It isn't the first time the reality TV star has been accused of borrowing traditions from other cultures

FILE - This Oct. 9, 2018 file photo shows Kim Kardashian West at the Tiffany & Co. 2018 Blue Book Collection: The Four Seasons of Tiffany celebration in New York. Kardashian's reality series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" will end with their 20th season this year. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
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Kim Kardashian is in hot water after sporting a pair of earrings featuring the sacred 'Om' symbol, with fans accusing the reality TV star of perpetuating cultural appropriation.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians socialite last week posted a series of images from a new photo shoot, in which she wore the jewellery.

The Skims founder donned diamante-encrusted hoops, which were emblazoned with the Om, a spiritual symbol in religions including Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also commonly used as a chant during spiritual recitations and ceremonies.

Fans accused Kardashian of misappropriating the symbol by sporting it in a photo shoot to promote her KKW Beauty cosmetics brand.

"I did a photo shoot with Sita using all KKW Beauty products! Follow @kkwbeauty to see all the products that we used for this shoot. We will be posting them tomorrow," the star had captioned the images, which are still available on her Instagram page.

Scroll through the Instagram slides below to see Kardashian in the earrings:

"Is now a good time to mention that the Om is a sacred symbol to Hindus and not just an accessory?" one Twitter user wrote

"It’s called appropriation; you can’t just pick something of a religion and a culture just for an aesthetic," another added.

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued a statement on his website, urging Kardashian to apologise.

"The hugely venerated Om was the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism was used to introduce and conclude religious work; and was not meant to be used as a fashion statement," he said.

Some social media users, however, defended the mother of four, saying pendants featuring the symbol were commonly worn by those who practise the Hindu faith.

This isn't the first time Kardashian has been accused of cultural appropriation. In 2019, the star was criticised for naming her shapewear line – since rebranded as Skims – Kimono.

The mayor of Kyoto implored Kardashian to reconsider the name, which referenced the storied Japanese garment.

Kardashian also wore a traditional maang tikka headpiece that same year, with some fans saying she disrespected Indian culture with her attire. The star was called out for wearing Fulani braids to the MTV Movie and TV Awards in 2018, which she earlier referred to as "Bo Derek" braids, referencing the '70s film 10.

"I obviously know they're called Fulani braids and I know the origin of where they came from and I'm totally respectful of that. I'm not tone deaf to where I don't get it. I do get it," she later said.