Sila Şahin, a Turkish-German actress, shed her clothes in order to “free” herself from her conservative Muslim background. The Daily Mail says:
Ms Sahin’s declared intention was to used the controversial Playboy photoshoot as a call to action for other Turkish girls who suffer the effects of their strict backgrounds, where women’s choices are often limited, husbands are chosen for the girls and chastity closely controlled.
I am skeptical that this was actually about social commentary as much as it was about trying to advance her career. I do not have a problem with Şahin’s decision to pose nude. However, I do have a problem with the need to homogenize Muslim women and men in order to make such a story more sensational. Rather than being about courageously baring one’s breasts in order to make a statement against conservative men, I think that the reality of this story actually has little to do with Islam, and more to do with fame.
It seems to me that Şahin is not different than any other starlet in Hollywood that is trying to leave her young and innocent image in the dust. Touted as a brave and defiant decision, her exposé isn’t particularly empowering. If Şahin were actually interested in creating an open dialogue about the pressures faced by her peers, then she would have found a more constructive outlet for it.