Use a “Muslim Woman”: Reasserting Dutch Values 101

Source: Hivos.

A few weeks ago, I went to a small, local cinema in my city to catch a film. I’ve always liked going to this particular cinema because they screen international and independent films – a fresh change from the standard Hollywood fare at the bigger cinema.The film was about to start, so I quickly ducked into the ladies’. After I washed my hands, imagine my shock at seeing the following poster pasted behind the door:The text on the poster says (in Dutch): “This woman is a symbol for all … [Read more...]

The Snore Heard ‘Round the World

[Source].

A few days ago, my Facebook newsfeed was awash with people sharing articles about a new billboard that just went up in Los Angeles. It depicts a male American soldier embracing a woman wearing a niqab. The billboard is for a product called SnoreStop, and it also displays the hashtag #betogether.Um…okay.Despite the buzz, the ad doesn’t catalyze brand recognition for me. Thus, I suppose in my case, the purpose of the ad is defeated. I can tell you that the ad has to do with snoring, but I h … [Read more...]

My Ramadan Media

You ain't cool if you don't love Ramadan.

Okay, okay. I know I'm not supposed to write a media analysis this Ramadan. In fact, one of my resolutions this Ramadan is to leave the television off as much as possible for the whole month.With a few exceptions, of course. For example, I have to switch on the television during sahoor time to watch my favourite Ramadan program, Tafsir Al Mishbah. Professor Quraish Shihab, the central figure of the lecture program, is a very knowledgeable man whose concise explanation of Qur’anic verses can t … [Read more...]

Be Sexy – But Keep It Hidden

Hymenoplasty

Like many people I know, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  Although its usefulness for me still outweighs anything else, given the number of people I’m in touch with who live far away from me, I’m often creeped out by the weird stalking behaviours that it encourages, among other things.And then there’s the advertising that pops up.  Some of it is hilariously misdirected, like the wave of evangelical Christian ads I saw a few months ago. Much of it is just annoying – seriously, e … [Read more...]

On (Not) Living Up to the Hijab Tutorial Ideal

From a YazTheSpaz photoshoot. [Source].

It was after my marriage that I decided to wear a hijab in public. Like most others who are evolving on their hijab journey, I had my fears – my biggest one being that it was going to make me look horrendous. After all my hair was my best feature.To help me on my hijab journey, one of my friends suggested that I look for hijab tutorials, online, so I started googling. This “easy” hijab tutorial told me that to cover my hair and to look good while doing it, I will have to take a piece of cloth … [Read more...]

Inspiring Beauty? A Critique of Wardah Cosmetics’ Ad Campaigns

Advertisement for Wardah Cosmetics. [Source].

This post was written by guest contributor Afia R. Fitriati (@AfiaRF).The gaffes in the latest ad campaign of Indonesia-based Wardah Cosmetics are as clear as daylight – so clear that a student in my marketing class had raised an issue with it even before I had the chance to see the commercials.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Css9izUYY"If their selling point is halal – and thus Muslim-friendly – cosmetics, then why do they promote skin-lightening products? Isn't it discriminatory to … [Read more...]

Pakistan: A Country of One Color?

Fair & Lovely ad. Source: theshadeofbeauty.wordpress.com/

 This post was written by guest contributor Emaan Majed. On my grandmother’s dresser, there is a pink tube of cleverly marketed whitening cream. She applies it daily, despite being quite pale, despite claiming to hate the colonizers from whom it stems, despite being a health-freak and knowing that it contains hints of mercury. My grandmother is not unlike many Pakistani women in this aspect. My progressive, liberal, ‘I have never done a racist thing in my life’ aunts each own a bottle. Th … [Read more...]


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