Don’t Look!


These two boxes of hair color caught my eye in the window of a bath and beauty shop. I’ve seen many products like this with women’s faces scribbled out with big black markers, but I hadn’t really seen any censored quite like this before. Several small stickered price tags have been creatively applied to the female face’s eyes, nose and mouth. For religious reasons, Saudi women are required to cover their hair, skin, curves, and many cover their faces too, from the eyes of men who are not immediate blood relatives. Censorship is quite extreme in this country – I’ve even seen Winnie the Pooh picture books with black marker scribbled over Piglet (pork is forbidden in Saudi Arabia) and entire pages torn out of magazines and books.

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About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Culture, Life, Odd or Unusual, Photo, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Shopping and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Don’t Look!

  1. Umm Ibrahim says:

    I don’t think this censorship in the photograph above has anything to do with women covering or not covering, but in this case has been done due to the belief of many that image making whether by pen, pencil or camera is forbidden. Quite often you will see advertisements with the facial features blurred out so as to make that image ‘less human’.

    Some believe that the restriction apply only to statue type objects whilst others believe that the restriction is across the board and applies to all statues and human/animal images.

    • Thanks for the input! I wonder why all those huge pictures of the King everywhere are okay then? And I wonder if those who believe that own televsions? There are just so many differences of opinion about what is allowed and what is forbidden – it’s so confusing.

      • Umm Ibrahim says:

        Well this is a country of paradoxes! This is an issue on which there are vast differences of opinion which is why sometimes you will see normal ads and sometimes blurred and sometimes something a bit more imaginative like the photo you took! I was out just today and went past a kids’ shop called Vertbaudet and noticed that they had blurred out the facial features on their ads. As for the huge pictures you mention… I also wonder how they are OK. :/

  2. Ayah says:

    I don’t know why they cover it, but I do know that you go to old malls.

    Saudi women cover so men can’t look at them in perverted ways and stalk them, like if you ask a man, there are two women, one coverd and the other isn’t, which one will attract you the most? He will obviously say the non-covered one, and another example, there are two apples, one coverd and the other isn’t, which one would you eat? Now you now the answer to that.
    And covering your face is an option, like me, I don’t cover my face, I choose to wear hijab, but if I go to old cheap malls, where there are closed minded people, I cover my face.

    • Sorry, but this photo was taken in a newer mall. And there are perverts and close-minded people in old malls and in new malls too. Defiling women’s faces like in this photo is oppressive and sexist. I also see lots of women in new malls covering their faces. I usually go to Red Sea Mall or Mall of Arabia – are these considered old because they have been open for more than one year?

  3. Geogypsy says:

    And yet the women are Allowed to color their hair. Another contradiction.

  4. Judy says:

    I have to agree with the comment left by Dimple. I am trying to understand it, but haven’t gotten there yet.

  5. Jesus…put this photo in a time capsule, and what will future generations think?

  6. Jerry M says:

    There is an art to the way the stickers have been put on, but it is a sick practice.

  7. Dimple says:

    This censorship of female everything (except that mannequin’s breasts) seems almost like a determined effort to eradicate the woman as a person and leave only what is necessary for fulfilling masculine lusts and the production of children. In short, I see an extreme version of making women into sex objects. But I suppose the men would deny it.

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