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Blonde Iraqi candidate with pink lipstick gets lambasted

Belonging to a conservative Islamist bloc, hopeful Iraqi presidential candidate Ashwaq Talib al-Zughaibi has been criticized for her appearance

Published: Updated:

Iraqis have long been used to seeing female parliamentarians belonging to conservative Islamist parties cover up, either by donning the Islamic head cover or the traditional black abaya.

But for the upcoming parliamentary elections in April, one of the hopeful candidates, Ashwaq Talib al-Zughaibi from the Shiite bloc National Iraqi Alliance (NIA), took a decidedly different approach.

In her poster, which says “you own the decision, so make a better choice,” Zughaibi doesn’t cover her blonde locks and wears bright pink lipstick.

Her lip gloss, which matched the pink top underneath her dark suit, led some social media users to berate the candidate.

“I bet her shoes [are] also pink, matching with her lipstick and top,” one Facebook user said, while another said: “she will take all of Iraq’s budget to spend on makeup.”

Others responded in even harsher tones.

“She looks stupid” said one user, while another said: “what qualifications does she have besides her looks?”

Others derided her look as overly unprofessional: “Is she a political candidate or a singer?” said one user.

There are others who defended her against the tirade of punitive comments.

“How can you judge her? Have you seen her drink Arak [traditional alcoholic beverage] in Abu Nuwas [street in Baghdad known for its bars]?”

While another female user said: “I do not understand, in one instance you criticize those covered up and compare them to female parliamentarians from Russia and Ukraine, but when we have a groomed one, you also complain.”

Her poster had 821 views on Facebook as of Thursday afternoon.