Despite the fact that French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a ban on burqas in France last week, saying the body coverings imprison women, Paris held a fashion show showcasing specially made designer abayas, the black overgarments worn by some Muslim women. Keep reading »
Talk about sticking it to the man. A group of 26 women in Saudi Arabia are now “lingerie graduates.” At a 10-day retreat led by an Australian woman, the group spent 40 hours learning how to correctly fit a bra, display merchandise, and deal with customers. Victoria’s Secret even donated bras to help out with the undie education.
So why was this training needed? In Saudi Arabia, only men can work at malls, meaning that most lingerie stores are staffed by dudes. And come on, who wants their chest measured by some fumbling man who doesn’t know what he’s doing? Plus, there are no fitting rooms in Saudi stores because a woman is prohibited to undress outside her home. Keep reading »
Have you ever spent so much money you wanted slap yourself? Well, now you don’t have to! Thanks to a Saudi Arabian court, if a wife spends too much of her man’s dough, he can put her in her place for her. What a savings!
Many of the local men, and now the courts, have been hitting wives hard because of how they choose to use cash. Saudi Arabian women like Princess Adila bint Abdullah, deputy chairperson of the National Family Safety Program, as well as international human rights groups, have complained about the seemingly court-sanctioned spike in
domestic violence justice. If you offer Judge Hamad Al-Razine a penny for his thoughts, he’ll tell you that women are the ones doing the shopping, “but nobody puts even a fraction of blame on them.” The judge argues that men are just reacting to the financial sitch and someone has got to knock some sense into these women, right? Keep reading »
American beauty pageants are all about the long legs, shiny teeth and not saying anything too dense when asked, “How would you make the world a better place?” But at the Miss Beautiful Morals pageant in Saudi Arabia, there’s no swimsuit competition.
Instead, in that deeply Islamic country where women are covered from head to toe in long robes called abayas, contestants vie to see who is most obedient of her parents. A hundred girls ranging in age from 15 to 25 will compete for the Miss Beautiful Morals crown. The queen wins $2,600, and each runner up wins $1,300. The real prize, those involved in the pageant say, is strengthening their devotion to their families. Keep reading »
Gotta love that Saudi Arabia. Not only do ladies have to fully cover up, now they have to let their bodies go, too. With religious clerics holding so much sway over the government, Saudi gyms are legally segregated by gender—male gyms get licenses from the government, but there is no authority to grant licenses to women’s fitness hubs. Now, female gyms operating as “beauty salons” (wink, wink) are being shut down. Hey, don’t deprive a woman of her hand weights! [Reuters via Yahoo!]
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When I first started developing in the chest department, my mother dragged me to Victoria’s Secret’s semi-annual sale to get measured so I would have proper fitting undergarments. I absolutely hated the experience. How embarrassing to strip down and have a stranger measure your assets! Luckily, I grew up, and bra shopping is no longer awkward. For women in Saudi Arabia, however, the experience is still an uncomfortable one.
The people who work in lingerie stores are largely male, contrary to a law that has been in effect since 2006 saying that only female staff can be employed in women’s stores. There are a few reasons that it hasn’t been enforced: employing women would mean even more than 10 percent of the countries male population would be unemployed, and many in the religious establishment oppose allowing women to work in places where men and women can mix, such as malls. Keep reading »
In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, lingerie stores that display their wares on mannequins make many people uncomfortable. “If I was passing by with my family and saw something displayed vulgarly on a mannequin, we would all find the situation awkward and embarrassing,” said one shopping mall manager. However, the store owners displaying lingerie in their windows don’t think they should stop showing people what they sell — how else will people know what they have inside? One 21-year-old woman even said she hates passing by lingerie stores because men often hang around them. The cultural differences between there and here are so interesting and apparent in regards to lingerie shopping. When I was in middle school, it was a huge rite of passage when you started shopping at Victoria’s Secret (and stopped getting embarrassed when your mother mentioned the word “bra”). [Arab News] Keep reading »