Islam Also to Blame for Prizing White Skin
By Bashir Goth
Just like everything else, perceptions of sexiness have globalized. Hollywood movies, the fashion industry, MTV and Miss World beauty contests have set universal standards for female sexual appeal. It is in this context that Arab and African men have come to measure the beauty of their women. But the pressure on women to meet men’s expectations of beauty isn’t a recent invention, and standards have changed over the years.
Over sexualizing girls is as dangerous as global warming. In the Arab world, the features of an ideal woman changed between being opulent, plump, slim or obese, according to Abdelwahab Bouhdiba in the book Sexuality in Islam. Sometimes large breasts were preferable, sometimes firm round ones. At other times, pink flesh, chubby and curved (samina, maluma), a wasp-like waist, or a bamboo-like figure (ghusn al ban, gudib khizuran) were fashionable.
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