Sexiness for Everyone (even Muslims)

Liaison Dangereuse, a German online lingerie store, recently released a new video advertisement.  With Arabic-sounding music in the background, a woman is shown getting out of the shower (we can see, from the back, that she has no clothes on), putting on her make-up, then walking (wearing nothing but high heels--to each her own, I suppose) to her dresser, where she puts on her underwear, bra and socks, all the while looking at herself in the mirror.  Last (anyone see where this is going yet?), s … [Read more...]

Book review: The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie – Intimacy and Design by Malu Halasa and Rana Salam

This was written by Cycads and originally published at her blog.Syria’s unlikely notoriety for racy underwear collides head on with the stereotyped image of the veiled and prudish Muslim woman. In a way, ‘The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie‘ (2008, Chronicle Books) had come at an opportune time to dispel these fossilised images, but at the same time will feed to a ‘Western’ obsession with what lies under the veil.Some of the raciest, most imaginative articles of ladies undergarments can be … [Read more...]

Salamu Alaikum. I’ll take the beaded nipple tassels please.

Before I graduated college, I had a hard time walking into Victoria’s Secret. The thought of picking out lingerie in front of total strangers made me uncomfortable, even if most of the other customers were women. Growing up an Arab Muslim woman, my shyness, genuine or not, was expected and encouraged. Our culture teaches us to be wary of sex, sexiness and the opposite sex, even as we voluntarily advertise, solicit and welcome it.Rana Salam and Malu Halasa expose this hypocrisy in their b … [Read more...]