Arab Beauty: Defying Stereotypes by Joumana Ibrahim

Stereotypes happen for a reason. A quick look at data from Statista confirms how Western media often label Arab women as shallow with outrageous taste in beauty standards. But there are cultural reasons behind these stereotypes. Female beauty and fashion routines have been part of the Arab culture for centuries and have come with expectations of women’s looks. Historically and to some extent even today, women socialize amongst themselves in grooming and fashion-related contexts.
The easy access to beauty care and their affordable cost means the services are accessible to a larger group of women. 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. Veiled women across the Arab world are redefining the concept of female empowerment.
This collection of scarves, sarongs, and t-shirts and their tags display quantitative and qualitative data on the beauty market in Western Asia. They also act as a testimony of the power and role of the Arab woman in her region and on a global level.