Does a woman have to get naked to get attention?

No matter how far we go as women, there are always those women who choose to reduce their sex to its lowest common denominator

Ahlya Fateh
Ahlya Fateh
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Let’s face it, nudity is everywhere and while I don’t like to think of myself as a prude, I do feel that the naked human form is used to sell anything from vacuum cleaners to veganism to a jaded and inured public these days. It’s not enough that a starlet seeking attention will strip for a role, because it “brings integrity to the part;” nowadays every Tom, Dawood and Haroon is texting lewd selfies of themselves. Some feel the need to go further. Reality star Kim Kardashian knew that the one thing that would make her more famous than her BFF Paris Hilton was a sex tape. So did her mama Kris Jenner; if urban myth is to be believed, this Stage Mom sent Miss Kim back for a second take as the first version wasn’t risqué enough!

I did feel, however, that this level of scandal was exclusive to the West but no, in recent weeks we have seen an Indonesian cleric resign under a sex tape scandal and Lebanese Skier Jacky Chamoun is under fire for doing a racy photo shoot, albeit three years ago. This week singer/model/activist Myriam Klink has taken this backlash seriously and is asking the Lebanese/Facebook public at large for their views on whether she should bare all for a serious cause. Whether this is a PETA campaign decrying the fur trade or Ms. Klink’s show of solidarity for fellow Lebanese celebrity, Ms. Chamoun; it is not clear.

No matter how far we go as women, there are always those women who choose to reduce their sex to its lowest common denominator

Ahlya Fateh

What is clear is that the promise of possible nudity is just as provocative as actually stripping off, perhaps more so! Now that we are all possessed of a smart phone with access to a hitherto un-policed internet, how shocking is nudity really? Is Klink really going to take the public vote into account as to whether she does allow herself to be photographed naked? Or is this a blatant manipulation in order to further promote her state of celebrity? Who knows and does the public really care?

In an age where we are trying to stay one step ahead of the technology that is taking us over, how can we keep drilling the message of propriety into the heads of our young men and women. Now that everyone has a camera with video and photographic capabilities, lives and reputations can be destroyed in seconds.

Whether you forward or even look at an image which was created without the knowledge or consent of the subject, then are you just as complicit as the perpetrator? If Myriam Klink wants to draw the world’s attention to a greater cause then why should she have to pose naked to do so? Seeing a naked body doesn’t make me feel any friendlier towards a charity, even if she has got the public’s permission in order to bare her soul and everything else! For my money, I would rather she put some more clothes on, perhaps that would change the public’s perception of her for the better.

Whatever the public decide I am sure that Ms. Klink will not be the last of her kind to strip down to her birthday suit. I just find it sad that no matter how far we go as women, no matter how many glass ceilings we smash, how many prizes and awards we achieve, no matter how hard we work to destroy preconceptions and stereotypes; there are always those women who choose to reduce their sex to its lowest common denominator. Or should we celebrate our own exploitation of our bodies because we are the ones in control? I don’t know if the maxim of “if you’ve got it, flaunt it!” applies here. But I am still torn with the very real evidence that crimes against women in the East have a real link to the perception of our gender. I for one will be not be voting for Myriam to bare all; perhaps if we all chose this option it might send a message out to the universe that a woman doesn’t have to get naked to get attention. But then again, I would say that, wouldn’t I?


Ahlya Fateh knows all about fashion and publishing. As the former managing editor of Tatler magazine and the managing director of fashion brand, Tata Naka, she has combined a strong creative vision with an understanding of strategy and management. Ahlya lives in London and is a mother of two.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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