Hijabi Barbie

Since my post about ASOS’s advert for their range of little-black-dress Barbies got picked up by Sociological Images and Jezebel (thanks Lisa!)  Barbie, and all that she stands for, has been preying on my mind. So, I was happily surprised to see Barbie all dolled-up (groan) in a hijab and gracing the cover of Muslim Lifestyle magazine Emel (‘M-L’… geddit?!).

This issue of Emel takes a look at what it’s like to grow up as a Muslim in a world obsessed with body image. With incidents of anorexia on the rise for Muslim girls, and Iran becoming the nose-job capital of the world, Emel asks; ‘How can we stop Muslim women turning into little more than Hijabi Barbies?’

In her introduction to the series of articles around this global search for body ‘perfection’, Sarah Joseph writes;

Taking on the hijab made sense for a whole host of other reasons. The hijab for me was the antithesis of the beauty fascism that had surrounded me since birth. The hijab represented not just a religious injunction, but a weapon in the war against an industry that demanded women reach unattainable goals of beauty and weight. The hijab was the Muslim equivalent of burning the bra and cutting off the hair.

There are more interesting articles to read; Tahereh Hadian meets the Iranian women ‘paying through the nose’ for cosmetic surgery, Aisha Mirza explores what Barbie means for The Beauty Myth, and Sarah Joseph examines the new dolls looking to take their share of the Muslim market.

All fascinating reading, but these are all just online tasters. To read the full articles you’ll need to buy the latest issue of Emel which can be done here for just £3.50 and free P&P.

By: Sarah Barnes, 21.03.2010 | Comments (0)
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Inspiring Confidence with Feminist Graffiti

I absolutely love feminist graffiti, and rejoice whenever I see it… so imagine how ecstatic I was when I saw this particular plastic surgery advert which had been covered with all manner of feminist sloganed stickers. Of course, it would be much nicer to get on the tube and not have to come face to face with these adverts on a daily basis, but until that day at least we have this form of activism to brighten our day.

By: Sarah Barnes, 17.02.2010 | Comments (2)
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Helping Haiti, one needle at a time…

By now I’m sure we’ve all heard about the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti this week. The news is tragic, and rightly, there have been a multitude of money raising efforts started subsequently. Perhaps the oddest one though, can be found here, where a Manhattan plastic Surgeon has pledged to donate all proceeds from Botox and Filler treatments to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

I’m slightly torn on this one. Clearly, Haiti is in need of Aid, and the fact that so many people have forwarded what they are able to is admirable. I don’t want to seem for a second that I’m shooting down the notion of fund raising for Haiti, nor am I denying that the Plastic Surgery industry makes big bucks..

… so perhaps I am just being cynical in highlighting the potentially offensive correlation between beautifying, anti-aging plastic surgery in the glamour capital Manhattan,  and the altogether different type of surgery that has been abundant in Haiti this week:  limb amputation.

As has been reported widely across our news media, Haiti hospitals are struggling to cope with the huge influx of seriously injured people needing imminent treatment, with some medical facilities having to be assembled on the streets in order to cope with the huge numbers requiring medical assessment. Botulinum toxin just doesn’t seem appropriate.

To make a donation to the Haiti Earthquake fund, please visit The Red Cross or Oxfam.

By: Yasmin Eshref, 15.01.2010 | Comments (3)
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