From Bitchery reader Muguet comes this link that blew my mind on many different levels. A liberal city in Afghanistan has a television network running an Afghani version of “…Next Top Model,” and it’s causing no small amount of uproar. Despite the overthrow of the Taliban several years ago, Afghanistan is still very traditional, and most women go about in a burqa when in public. So women’s faces, even while wearing baggy pants and loose tunics, is an outrage to some. Threats of punishment for the contestants and the creators have already been made.
But even within the sad familiarity of that story are some bits that really dropped my jaw. The director of the show? 18 years old. The contestants? Wouldn’t meet the eyes or look up at any of the male crew on set. But those contestants that came even after being alerted that international media would be present were adamant that they wanted a different view of Afghani women to reach the rest of the world.
Putting aside the question of whether a show that judges contestants based on physical beauty and ability to wear clothing is a good thing for a country just out from under an oppressive religious rule, those are some brave, brave women. And they’re right – they are beautiful. And kickass – which is even better.