Images of a supermodel covered with the full face veil appeared on billboards and newspapers across Israel with one question alongside it “Is Iran Here?”
The woman in the burka is of the supermodel Bar Refaeli. She has 2.7 million followers.
No, she is not converting to Islam, nor does she have any links to the veil, which is why this is a problem. She comes from a country that has had issues with those who wear the veil for years.
A video was released of her removing the face veil and celebrating freedom. See it here:
She is both the spokeswoman and part-owner of the Hoodies fashion company started a nationwide ad campaign called “Freedom is Basic.”
The video evokes the type of images we saw when women removed their burkas after being freed from the clutches of ISIS, who had forced the full face veil upon women. But many women who choose to wear the full face veil would find this campaign conflicting with their own personal lifestyle choices.
It features Israelis like transgender actress Stav Strashko, hassidic TV presenter Melech Zilbershlag and Ethiopian-Israeli model and reality star Tahounia Rubel.
The campaign is said to call out racism and bigotry and support freedom, but it seems that the message has not been so clearly thought out.
Meanwhile in the Middle East, Grazia’s ME branch featured a burka-clad Amy Roko, Saudi Arabian comedian in a mock Nike design advert created by Ali Chaaban.
Despite her choice of clothing, she has a strong public following of her own with 1.3 million followers. The mock Nike ad campaign was designed to suggest the next steps Nike should take with their recent embrace of the hijab with their Nike Pro Women’s Hijab, designed for athletes.
One could ask, has Bar Refaeli overlooked the true idea of freedom? Is her campaign designed to encourage women to truly be free, or to simply wear hoodies, using a sensitive and serious idea like women’s freedom of expression to think and dress as she wants as a marketing tool?
Clearly the campaign was designed to stir controversy and use religious symbolism and well known stereotypes to sell hoodies.
It could be argued that freedom is also the choice of throwing on a burka as well as taking it off.
What do you think of Refaeli advert?