She continued, “It was true. I could see how Black culture was being so obviously exploited. I was defensive and confused, white fragility coming out, plain and simple.”
Florence also reflected on her use of henna and wearing bindis as a kid after she became close with an Indian shop owner.
“She was excited to share her culture and I was excited to learn,” the Little Women actress explained of her bond with the shop owner. “There wasn’t a summer where I didn’t henna my hands, feet, my family’s hands and feet, my friends—I was obsessed.”
She later realized that “no one cared about the origin, a culture was being abused for profit.”
“I felt embarrassed. I felt sadness for the small family-run Indian shops all over the country, seeing their culture and religion cheapened everywhere,” Florence said. “I thought because I was taught about it differently, I was an exception…”
Adding, “I actually wasn’t being respectful in how I was using it. I wore this culture on my terms only, to parties, at dinner. I too was disrespecting the beauty of the religion that had been taught to me those years ago.”