9.02.2009

Complex Magazine Ranks Islams' Hottest Women...No, Not Literally Hot

But either way it ain't their hijabs that are the cause...

As seen on MMW: Complex Magazine’s online blog. They decided to list “The 10 Hottest Muslim Women” in a crude effort to celebrate Ramadan, and probably remind men to check a religious minority off of their list. Great.

"Laila Ali,
Complex's "The 10 Hottest Muslim Women""

As if I don’t have enough to deal with while I am fasting! The article celebrates a wide range of women, which on the plus side probably taught readers about the diversity of the Islamic world.

The article opens by describing the plight of “Muslim models”, citing the story of a Malaysian model (Kartika)caned for her alleged drinking of beer in a nightclub. [pictured below]Complex adds punishment and rebellion to the representation Muslim women as oppressed damsels with daddy issues–obviously an effort to tantalize the reader.

I wondered if the author simply searched for “hot famous Muslim chicks” in order to compile the list. I was surprised that the article did not feature helpful hints for readers to pick up Muslim girls or how to save them from their oppressive fathers and husbands.

The snarky commentary focused upon clever ways to draw upon stereotypes of these women: the caption for Wafah Dufour reads:

Osama bin Laden’s niece posed semi-nude for GQ back in 2006 in a bizarre attempt to capitalize on her family name. Her uncle would probably be pissed if he didn’t have over 300 other nephews and nieces to keep track of.


Listing women such as Laila Ali, Eve, Iman, and Queen Rania did not even highlight the contributions of these women or their ability to break stereotypes, but rather created a way to crudely objectify women who have made significant changes within their respective fields.

"Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno
from Complex Magazine"

Furthermore, to highlight the fact that they come from Muslim backgrounds or may follow the Muslim faith in order to sexualize them is not only offensive to their accomplishments, but is ultimately offensive to the faith itself. Obviously, Islam has not hindered these women, and the article does not feature any commentary on the role of faith in their lives.

These women did pose rather provocatively in these photos, I think that it is no different than what I see when I flip through a magazine at the supermarket. What makes this article so offensive to me in particular, is the fact that they are fetishizing these women based upon a stereotype of Muslim women being seen and not heard. Thus, the article makes wide assumptions about not only the backgrounds of these women, but about Muslim women in general. I think the beauty of Muslim women is our diversity in thought, expression, and backgrounds, and this list merely reduces us to one sexualized image.

Disappointing, yes. Entertaining, perhaps. Now to explain to my co-workers why I don't roll around in 6 inches heels, boobs a flare, and hair lingering in the breeze, fun. Not.

16 comments:

z-dizzle said...

awesome post...I want to read this article, i think its really offensive and just plain stupid

thnx PTexan

Naseem said...

wow..i don't know what to say to this..


great post.

ModestJustice said...

Now we all have some more clarifying to do: 'No, I don't nor want dress like Laila Ali because....' 'Yeah she's muslim and a model, that doesn't mean I'm going to be one!'

This IS very offensive, but super post!

Sarah Alaoui said...

Thanks for this link. This is really offensive.

Anonymous said...

Great update pt. I dont think it was meant to be offensive and it is a mens mag after all but still its kinda rude

*~Ange~* said...

its just gross - on behalf of the magazine AND the girls. nothing about those pics says "muslim" to me in the slightest.

*~Ange~* said...

lol. i love the comment for 'Muslim' girl Eve - "Her resume includes stripping, a possible sex tape..."

Constructive Attitude said...

Wow. This is ridiculous. People just get stupider and stupider.

WhiteOrchid said...

I saw the psot on complex magazines website, the pics were terrible. Queen Rania was the only decent person on the list.

'Before the fasting begins, we wanted to celebrate a little bit by counting down the 10 hottest Muslim women. And the good news is, you can look at them any time of day… ' - what guts!

controlled chaos said...

huh.

well...that ...was um.. something of them.

Hassan E said...

Ow ow. I want a muslim chick. Wait, I wanted one before this post.

SahRahBash said...

The Complex article kind of reminds me of "The Colonial Harem" by Malek Alloula. Seems that colonialist fantasies haven't gone away but have morphed into this (and other) disgusting representations of Muslim women.

Mina said...

This is just plain wrong, im lost for words...

Anonymous said...

And that's what the scarves are hiding.


Nice.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

People always ask me if I named my Layla after Laila Ali...I would never name a child after a celebrity.

Aisha Aapi said...

that was disgusting.