Writing at Saudi Gazette, Khalid Al-Maeena is wondering just what it is about celebutantes and the Arab Gulf States. Why, he wonders, have those young women who are famous for being famous attracted audiences for their appearances and/or customers for their products?
He’s ashamed by it, but I think he knows why… the ‘sleaze appeal.’ Having seen their notorious behavior on video clips on line, they want to have something to do with them in reality. Whether it’s getting a chance to lay eyeballs on Kim Kardashian or just buying a Paris Hilton-labeled item of apparel, the appeal is there.
Not exactly the image you have in mind for Mecca, the holiest place in Islam? Not really in line with the behavior codes of Bedouin-derived cultures? Clearly, someone believes that these concerns must take second-place to earning a Riyal or Dirham or Dinar.
The all-time lows of human decency
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
I have always believed that there was a level beyond which human decency could not possibly sink. But merchants in three GCC countries have proved me wrong. In the quest for publicity and profit, they have resorted to a degree of sleaze that I would never have imagined.
In the first instance, Kim Kardashian, an American socialite known for getting into the news by dabbling in sordid situations, was in Kuwait to promote her business ventures just days after she had tweeted her prayers for the people of Israel during Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
In a provocatively revealing dress in a conservative nation, she was busily pandering her goods to the hundreds who thronged the mall where she appeared.
She followed that trip with a visit to Bahrain to promote her line of milkshakes. But her visit there was not without controversy.
While many paid up to $1400 for a chance to see her, many others demonstrated against her visit. Many banded together protesting her stay in the island nation.
Now, I’m not about to get on the moral high horse with Mr Al-Maeena. I’m old enough (or jaded enough) to realize that people do like to exercise their baser instincts, even if at second or third hand. My complaint is more on the level of good taste. Are these the best that the Gulf Arabs could do? Couldn’t they find someone who had some claim to accomplishment, even a tiny bit? I suppose, though, that if the goal is to objectivize women, the marketeers succeeded.