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Marie Claire Outrage

Read Fausta on the Marie Claire story, "Mecca Stars," which was posted at Debbie Schlussel's site last week.

The print on the photo reads
Where else can you get your sheik on with the hot new accessories but in the desert wonderland of Dubai?

The "desert wonderland of Dubai" they talk about is "Dubai and its shopping", which is fully itemized on page 139. Apparently there are only 45 malls in Dubai, so I'll stay in New Jersey, thank you. And keep the sheik off me, please.

The model in the above photo wears a "Silver mask, price upon request, from Victor and Rolf."

Considering how Islam tells men to beat their wives into submission, it's hardly surprising that the first page of the spread highlights an S&M item.

The rest of the photos feature several extremely thin young women (a polygamist's wives?) wearing a lot of make-up, huge sunglasses and expensive accessories, not unlike the first woman I saw wearing the veil at Harrods almost thirty years ago. Unlike the woman I saw at Harrods, their black clothes are from-fitting. On one page they even wear Chanel jackets on top of them, which had me wondering what the Saudi religious police would do, considering that they would have school girls burn to death rather than allow them to leave a burning building unveiled.

The photo spread shows the glamour of eating a burger under your veil at McDonald's. Irony? Humor? Of just good ole cluelessness on Marie Claire's part?

Update: Debbie Schlussel's post that goes into the Marie Claire piece in detail (and includes tons of pictures from the spread) also includes past instances from Marie Claire which, in my opinion, make it clear this is not just cluelessness on their part. This is propaganda.

Update II: I revised the original post above to include a link to the Debbie Schlussel post from last week.

Comments (9)

Actually, Lorie, that was t... (Below threshold)
Debbie Schlussel:

Actually, Lorie, that was taken from my blog, as it states in Fausta's post. Not sure why you didn't link to my site (everyone else gave me proper credit), since I'm the one who did the work on the Marie Claire magazine item, and she merely commented on my work:

"Irony? Humor? Of ... (Below threshold)
"Irony? Humor? Of just good ole cluelessness on Marie Claire's part?"
Considering that Marie Claire has regularly featured a feminist-friendly expose meant to encourage its readers to become activists, this change in editorial style is disturbing. After all, we know Dubai's construction boom is achieved at the hands of (for all practical purpose) slave workers who are paid subsistence wages and housed in unsanitary conditions. We know that Dubai "keeps" children as camel jockeys, and these these children are owned much in the same way as slaves.

And yet Marie Claire wants us to patronize a country that pratices both slave and child labor? Sounds like the recent revamp of involves much more than cover style and editorial layout!

Talking about cluelessness,... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

Talking about cluelessness, Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, not Saudi Arabis, so there are no "Saudi Religious Police" there, D'oh!

Women are free to go about unveiled and in western clothes.

And, Dubai is free-market conditions at their extreme, no " burdensome regulation." Isn't that the free-market paradise so called "conservatives" want?

I've been around Dubai and the Middle East, and the Indian workers who work at US bases in Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar for subcontractors of Halliburton have it the same as those who work construction in Dubai, with the added danger of being killed by mortar fire. They live 4 to a trailer and get paid a pittance by US standards, and get their passports taken. But for the workers, it's a deal that allows them to make much more than they would at home, and they send money home to build houses and support their families.

Dubai is a pretty free and nice place compared to a lot of places in the world. As a vacation destination, the workers there get treated better than in Mexico and some cruise lines.

There are some nice beaches there are a great jewelry district, plenty of nightclubs and shows.

If you're going to rant and rave about Arabs all the time, at least get some of your facts straight.

Some of us were making the ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Some of us were making the point of the UAE being a rare comparatively liberal spot in the Middle East back when urging people not to freak out over the ports deal. My husband has been to Dubai and I do realize that it is not the same as most other places in the Middle East. I still agree with Debbie Schussel and Fausta though about the way the Marie Claire story was not balanced with the truth about what goes on in much of the Muslim world.

I saw that spread. I could... (Below threshold)

I saw that spread. I couldn't decide what was worse - the fetishation of the Islamic clothing (which may not be required in Dubai but is certainly required elsewhere), the extreme thinness of the women, or the ridiculous nature of the expensive clothing being featured. I THINK the message I was supposed to take away from the photo shoot was that I should starve myself, find a rich husband who can afford to buy me some seriously ugly Chanel bags, and then cover my hair so that the world knows that it's my spirituality, not my naked greed for material goods, that defines me.

Um, yeah.

So every fashion spread sho... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

So every fashion spread shot in the USA has to have something said about drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse, the prevalence of gun crimes, street gangs, in order to "balance [it] with the truth about what goes on in much of the [USA]"?

Come on, lighten up and don't follow the lead of a nut like Schussel, who is a C-list Ann Coulter. That was all about demonizing Arabs for propagandistic purposes.

The thing is, I've seen women like that in the Gulf, and they can be extremely sexy and flirtatious in their abayas. Teenagers in Kuwait "cruise the strip" in cars and trade phone numbers through windows.

Kimberly,I think t... (Below threshold)


I think the message, or the aim of this was to try to remove the stigma of the burqa and other required Islamic dress.

I don't believe that should be an aim personally. It has a negative connotation in the west for a reason.

Perhaps Marie Claire will be so multicultural as to have their next photo feature and supporting articles spotlight Hasidic Jews and their respective dress?

To explain it to people who... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

To explain it to people who have never left their home town: fashion magazines like Marie Claire have an international circulation. Yes, there are women who wear abayas who read fashion magazines, some of them very wealthy through the money you give them at gasoline stations.

If you go to a mall or souk in Dubai or elsewhere in the Arab world, you will find different designs of abayas, made of different materials and of different cuts. In addition, women buy clothing for family functions where they are not wearing an abaya, and some women wear abayas some of the time, and western clothes on other occasions in places like Dubai or Kuwait. Saudi Arabia has its laws of course, but really, unless you're agitating for change in the laws which ban public female toplessness in the USA, who are you to complain?

Public decency laws are all a matter of degree, right, and the abayas pictured in the Marie Clare story do not cover the face like the Afghan burka.

You're linking to Debbie Sc... (Below threshold)
Susan Miller:

You're linking to Debbie Schlussel? The woman is a despicable pig and fabricates most of her columns. Save your credibility and pass her nonsense by.






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