Last night's episode of The Price Of Beauty focused on Morocco, and Jessica found herself being criticized for showing off her legs.
First Jessica, CaCee and Ken met their Moroccan beauty ambassador, a singer named Khansa Batma. In photographs, Khansa was wearing non-traditional, Western clothing— like many people in Morocco — and yet when she met with Jess and her friends, Khansa wore a djellaba. The show tries to celebrate the culture of each country, but sometimes it feels like exoticism, emphasizing how "different" the non-American women are.
Khansa took Jess, CaCee and Ken shopping for djellabas and caftans, and Jessica said: "The essence of the Moroccan beauty that mystery — what's under the veil, what's behind the hidden door." UGH.
Perhaps it's naive of me to believe that this show would attempt to present a non-stereotypical view of veiled women. Still: The "vixen behind the veil" and the "exotic hottie" is such a dated, problematic way of looking at women who cover their bodies for religious or traditional reasons. Back when I wrote about a lingerie commercial in which a sexy woman puts on lacy undies and then throws a burqa over herself as she heads out, one commenter made an excellent point, which stood out in my mind and seems applicable here: