The many ironies of a “modest swimwear” advertisement

This one ran yesterday at the PJ Tatler, and I forgot to republish it here.  Since it’s a day late, I figure I can just block and copy the whole thing:

I’m not a fan of extremely revealing or tight clothing. Even in my younger days, when I could get away with it, it wasn’t my style. There’s something to be said for a little mystery and a lot of class. Nevertheless, an ad for “modest swimwear” managed to make my eyeballs pop a little:

The first funny thing to strike me is the fact that, thanks to the way computer algorithms process words, an ad for full coverage swimwear — something aimed primarily at the Muslim market — ended up on a Commentary Magazine blog post that talks about the repression that too often goes with mandatory hijabs in Muslim countries.

The second funny thing is that the models used are remarkably non-Muslim looking. And yes, I know that “Muslim” is not a racial classification, but demographically it trends towards non-blondes.  These models, however, look as if they come from the little known Northern European Muslim demographic.

And the third funny thing is that the ad company went overboard with Photoshopping to make the models skinny. The women in the black suit has a right arm so skeletal she looks mortally ill, while the woman in the maroon suit has stick thighs and a bizarrely large head. We know that this type of digitized airbrushing is routinely done with models stripped down to their skivvies, but there’s something ludicrous about seeing the same tactic applied to models wearing clothes that could comfortably have appeared in a Victorian fashion magazine:

Obama again celebrates putting women in hijabs and niqabs *UPDATED*

I’m noticing an interesting pattern in Obama’s Muslim speeches.  He thinks it’s a very good thing for women to cover up.  In his Cairo speech, he made that point, not once, not twice, but three times.  As I caught in the post I wrote at the time, he said:

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That’s why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it. (Applause.)

[snip]

Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit — for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We can’t disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.

[snip]

The sixth issue — the sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights. (Applause.) I know –- I know — and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality.

That obsession with women’s attire might have been aberrant but for the fact that, at tonight’s White House Ramadan celebration, Obama brought it up again (emphasis mine):

The president paid special tribute to Kareem Khan, who “made the ultimate sacrifice” when he died serving in Iraq, Nashala Hearn, who won the right to wear a hijab in school, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who holds the record for the most points scored by a high school basketball player in Massachusetts, and Muhammad Ali, who – though he couldn’t attend – is “a man of quiet dignity and grace and continues to fight for what he believes.”

Why, oh why, is Obama so impressed with Muslim women wrapping their heads?  His he just part of the same trendy Left wing cadre that thinks head coverings are a cool fashion statement by which enlightened Islamic feminists thumb their nose at men?  Naomi Wolf, American “feminist” and nutcase, believes this to be so:

The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women’s appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one’s husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channelling – toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home.

Outside the walls of the typical Muslim households that I visited in Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, all was demureness and propriety. But inside, women were as interested in allure, seduction and pleasure as women anywhere in the world.

At home, in the context of marital intimacy, Victoria’s Secret, elegant fashion and skin care lotions abounded. The bridal videos that I was shown, with the sensuous dancing that the bride learns as part of what makes her a wonderful wife, and which she proudly displays for her bridegroom, suggested that sensuality was not alien to Muslim women. Rather, pleasure and sexuality, both male and female, should not be displayed promiscuously – and possibly destructively – for all to see.

Wolf would benefit from reading Phyllis Chesler’s response to her inane article, in which Chesler emphasizes the reality for the vast majority of those Muslim woman wrapped up in movable tents:

Most Muslim girls and women are not given a choice about wearing the chador, burqa, abaya, niqab, jilbab, or hijab (headscarf), and those who resist are beaten, threatened with death, arrested, caned or lashed, jailed, or honor murdered by their own families. Is Wolfe thoroughly unfamiliar with the news coming out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan on these very subjects? Has she forgotten the tragic, fiery deaths of those schoolgirls in Saudi Arabia who, in trying to flee their burning schoolhouse, were improperly veiled and who were beaten back by the all-powerful Saudi Morality Police?

Most Muslim girls and women are impoverished and wear rags, not expensive Western clothing beneath their coverings. Only the pampered, super-controlled, often isolated, and uber-materialistic daughters of wealth, mainly in the Gulf states, but also among the ruling classes in the Islamic world, match Wolf’s portrait of well kept courtesan-wives.

Being veiled and obedient does not save a Muslim girl or woman from being incested, battered, stalked, gang-raped, or maritally raped nor does it stop her husband from taking multiple wives and girlfriends or from frequenting brothels. A fully “covered” girl-child, anywhere between the ages of 10-15, may still be forced into an arranged marriage, perhaps with her first cousin, perhaps with a man old enough to be her grandfather, and she is not allowed to leave him, not even if he beats her black and blue every single day.

So does Obama side with Wolf or does he understand the reality that Chesler articulates?

Or are we looking in the wrong place altogether when it comes to Obama’s hijab obsession.  Maybe he’s just dreaming that, one day, he can replace this angry face:

Michelle

With this, all signs of anger neatly hidden away:

Burqa

UPDATE: To those who I’m mocking Michelle for being ugly, I’m not.   I don’t think she’s the raving beauty the MSM would have us believe, but there’s nothing wrong with how she looks. It’s the anger that’s in her face whenever she’s not actively smiling. That is one very, very angry woman.  That can’t be a nice thing in a marriage.  A burqa wouldn’t make the anger go away, but you wouldn’t have to see it all the time.  I’ve updated the captions for the photos a bit to show that my emphasis is on personality, not looks.