Arab Beauty: Vanity and Numbers by Joumana Ibrahim
The grooming culture in the Arab world goes back centuries.
Harem existed for women to gather away from the sight of men and exchange information, stories, jokes, and experiences. Some rituals encompassed time spent in hammams
engaging in reflection, haircare routines using henna and argan oil, and skin care treatments for moisturizing and rejuvenation.
The Arab beauty market today, a considerably large market, relies primarily on information and advice from friends and relatives. However, the Arab woman is still misunderstood by the West and is often regarded as a veiled conservative Muslim woman. If this image was a somewhat accurate representation of Arab societies a hundred years ago, it does not reflect reality. The role of the Arab woman changed and evolved to become a strong independent, feminist woman redefining feminism and beauty standards based on her culture and values.
The Arab woman’s approach to feminism defies the orientalist and post-colonial stereotypes imposed by the West and embraces her cultural and religious differences.
These makeup packages, which display quantitative - from journals and newspaper articles - and qualitative data from Statista on the beauty product market in Western Asia, are also a testimony of the power and role of the Arab woman in her region and on a global level.