When in Dubai: The Kardashians Shop for Burqas

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


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In Dubai last week to open a milkshake franchise, promote her signature fragrance, and pursue other opportunities to expand her business empire, uber-celebrity Kim Kardashian and mother Kris Jenner stopped by the Dubai Mall to shop for the latest Middle Eastern fashions – including matching burqas.

“That’s me!” Kardashian later squealed on Twitter beneath a photo of herself with her famous face completely obscured except for a slit for the eyes (this is actually a niqab, , which covers everything; a burqa is becoming the popular catchall word to describe the covering in general). Considering that Kardashian’s fame is entirely the result of the relentless marketing of her curvy sexuality, beginning with a sex tape, a burqa – the purpose of which is to obliterate female sexuality and to reduce a woman’s identity to a rumpled, repellent blob – is a curious fashion choice.

And a disappointing one. One of the most famous women in the world and a style icon for countless millions of fans, Kim Kardashian may have just given the burqa her considerably influential fashion imprimatur.

It’s easy to pick on celebrities like Kardashian. Reveling in the narcissistic bubble of her inexplicable fame, far removed from the harsh realities of countless Muslim women literally enshrouded in this enforced anonymity, she is, in all fairness, no doubt simply ignorant of the cultural ramifications of her flippant shopping selection.

What’s really disturbing here is that the media treated the whole incident so breezily. “Kim Kardashian’s latest fashion statement? A burqa!” was the typical headline. “Kim Kardashian Rocks a Burqa in Dubai,” read another. A third: “Kim Kardashian can even make a burqa look hot.” Ad nauseum.

Not a single news item about this paparazzi moment referenced the impropriety of these two wealthy Western women donning garments that have been designed to enslave women and punish them for the uncontrollable lust they inspire in men by a hint of skin or a glimpse of lips. Every media report I saw opted for innocuous phrasing like describing the burqa as “traditional” for Muslim women. BET went with the even more blandly neutral “regional dress.” The UK’s DailyMail got slightly more specific by pointing out that it is “the conservative dress preferred in the religious country.” US Weekly edged slightly closer to the truth by giving the burqa the understated label, “often controversial.”

None of the mainstream media reports dared to storm the ramparts of multiculturalism or to provoke shrill accusations of the dreaded and mythical Islamophobia by pointing out why it’s controversial. None of the media outlets broached the ugly subject of the misogyny that underlies this “regional dress,” much less mentioned that women have been killed for not wearing the “traditional” garb that Kim Kardashian and her mom had so much fun modeling.

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  • mrbean

    Ah likes dah fine Kardashin wigger womins, cause dey lufs mah chocolate luf hama. Yassah. once dey goes black dey nebaw goes back. Yassah.

    • dsfd

      this is so wrong! people are nikabi so they could cover themselves from men not because there being punished! this thing makes me mad and i seriously dont beleive in this.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    This article reads like those rabid screeds against sexism that women used to tape to doors at college, except there, sexism and oppression was not the burqa, but the bikini. Hairy, obese lesbians called. They want their stolen outrage back.

    • William

      And considering what the Muslims in Turkey did to the Armenians, ie; (the Armenian holocaust), Kim Kardashian and her mother are emulating the very people who murdered millions of their fellow Armenians back in 1915. Those two are so clueless.

      • ZX12SRT

        so you are saying Kardashian should hate all Muslims because what Turkey did to Armenians???? why not Jews hate all Christians because of what Hitler did to them??? It was the worst thing to do human being, 6 million baked live in the ovens!!!

        • Arius

          The last Caliph, the highest authority in the Islamic world at that time sanctioned the slaughter of the Armenians as a religious duty. It was a jihad. As an Armenian, one of the many peoples mass murdered by Muslims, I hate Islam.

  • taxpayer

    From under which rock did these stupid "broads" crawl? Let's see how long their love affair with these demeaning garments lasts once they return to their reality.

  • Demetrius M

    Stay tuned next week when we'll see Kim in her latest creation, a Yves St.Laurent adorned with a big red swastika.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      The gum or the paint?

  • mrbean

    Kim Kardashian is famous because of who she slept with. She does not have a specialty or a talent. She does not make a living off of anything but being paid to go to clubs, having reality shows, and having contracts for some companies. They all are making money, but not because they are talented. It's because they literally slept their way to the top.

  • Questions

    "Oooooohh!! Muslim fashion. Way cool. Like, normal is like sooo yesterday."

    I can see millions of young, dumb white American women talking like this and dressing to the Muslim nines like Kim Kardashian. Well, her late old man was part of O.J. Simpson's defense team. So it figures.

    • RosettaStone

      I'm thinking of an old Wendy's commercial showing communist "fashion." "Svimvear," anyone!!!

  • http://www.katherinesands.com kathy

    Wait til the rest of the Hollywood females follow suit in a show of "solidarity".

    • Questions

      Believe me, they won't. Hollywood is far more intelligent than you give it credit for. I can't see, for example, Julianne Moore or Reese Witherspoon dressed in one of those Islamic get-ups.

      • American Thinker

        Julianne Moore supports the Boycott Israel movement.

        • Questions

          If she does, she's a schmuck, but she still isn't about to put on a burqa. Plus, her husband, Bart Freundlich, is Jewish (as is ex-husband John Rubin). How anti-Jewish is that? And she is a brilliant actress.

    • Flowerknife_us

      The cosmetics industry would collapse if that were to happen.

  • xlent

    It is truly a sad state of affairs that we even have to be concerned with the impact on society by the likes of such as the kardflakians. America needs to "get a life".

    • elihew

      America, at one time, had a life. Sadly, it gave it up…

  • tanstaafl

    A proper headline should read "Media Whores Just Love Their Muslim Slave Rags".

  • Laila

    "Not a single news item about this paparazzi moment referenced the impropriety of these two wealthy Western women donning garments that have been designed to enslave women and punish them for the uncontrollable lust they inspire in men by a hint of skin or a glimpse of lips."

    HUH? this women doesn't seem she is forced to wear it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWJRam64dQY&fe

    But niqab is not part of Islamic law, some people just want to wear it and it's traditional in Saudi Arabia, eventhough not all their women wear it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8MROOGba94&fe

  • UCSPanther

    Who cares what these bimbos have to say?

    I don't know how they even got famous. They are just like Paris Hilton: A trio of vapid, obnoxious ditzes that are only known for their appearance and appearing in homemade porno vids. Nothing more.

    Dubai is no more than an ediface, a city built on sand, and a facade to hide a backwards, medieval culture. I would not trade my backwoods trailer for a swanky apartment in Dubai, even if it came with all the world's gold.

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  • 4Islam

    I'm a Muslim female in the U.S. and I wear a headscarf, and often a head to toe covering. I say this with pride. No one forces me to do it either. I do it out of my own free will, and I am definitely not suppressed. It is not any Muslim man I know that makes me feel oppressed. Rather, it is those "so-called" liberals that look at me with a disgusted expression on their faces when I walk into the mall wearing a headscarf and a head to toe covering.

  • THEAK

    none of us muslims are forced to wear hijab, or a burqa. we CHOOSE to do it ourselves cause its part of our religion. islam is an awesome religion. learn about it first, than say TRUE stuff about it.

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  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    That sounds like that makes vapidity more lively to you. Conundrum!

  • RosettaStone

    I was thinking more along the line of "stupid bimbos" myself!!! And before anyone says I'm being sexist (an interesting charge considering the subject at hand), I am a proud woman who makes her own decisions. Stupid bimbos are as stupid bimbos "does."