Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli is catching heat for starring in a clothing ad that is being called racist and Islamophobic by some and a show of solidarity by others.
The campaign is called "Freedom Is Basic" and starts with Refaeli wearing a niqab, As music builds, she removes the garment, shakes her blond hair, and dances. The words "Is it Iran here?" appear across the screen.
Many people were extremely offended by the ad, which has now been removed from Refaeli's Instagram. The backlash was quick on social media, with many questioning why no one involved with the campaign realized this would be offensive.
I am so bored of this fake bullshit about burka wearing women being oppressed and needing freedom with the white wo… https://t.co/ucJcZWl0V2— Sheeffah Shiraz (@Sheeffah Shiraz)1540995860.0
Non Muslim women need to stop telling us Muslim women what freedom is . https://t.co/5yDt5SFHAL— Imperator Furiosa (@Imperator Furiosa)1541020952.0
@llorallorando @BlerdMommy I really wish non-muslin folks would see covering one’s hair as an expression of religio… https://t.co/ggx623sQtP— Taylor Reynolds (@Taylor Reynolds)1541032952.0
A fierce debate started online.
@TaylorrObvi @llorallorando @BlerdMommy It becomes a problem when they are forced into the religion as in many Isla… https://t.co/sngqrBIRUl— Jennifer Appel (@Jennifer Appel)1541034024.0
@TaylorrObvi @llorallorando @BlerdMommy It is just fine as an expression of religious belief. The issue is that in… https://t.co/xla65mhh5J— TheLandoSystem (@TheLandoSystem)1541033457.0
@LandoWho @llorallorando @BlerdMommy I think we should defer to the desires women who live this experience, rather… https://t.co/YAx6flkQ2A— Taylor Reynolds (@Taylor Reynolds)1541033989.0
@TaylorrObvi @LandoWho @llorallorando @BlerdMommy Don't think these woman jailed for 20 years for protesting them t… https://t.co/QfWYOYlKKm— 💧Polite Lion (@💧Polite Lion)1541040381.0
@LandoWho @TaylorrObvi @BlerdMommy Why don’t you talk about how Muslim women in the west are targeted for wearing t… https://t.co/jtiBbA4y69— Imperator Furiosa (@Imperator Furiosa)1541040210.0
@llorallorando Some Muslim women choose to cover their hair with a hijab. I chose to cover my hair and many others… https://t.co/YZ6BW9y2Qw— 𝐅𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐮𝐯 🌺 (@𝐅𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐮𝐯 🌺)1541042240.0
@TaylorrObvi @llorallorando @BlerdMommy You seem to think people have a problem with the clothing choice itself and… https://t.co/qOnKRjwLsa— ᕙ(◕ਊ◕)ᕗ Puff DeDe 🐧🔨 (@ᕙ(◕ਊ◕)ᕗ Puff DeDe 🐧🔨)1541060380.0
@llorallorando @MTTlovinghours The same people who claim Muslim women are being 'oppressed' by making a choice abou… https://t.co/VLDD2fFkKT— Possum (@Possum)1541088447.0
@llorallorando As long as there are women in the world who are legally forced to wear it and whom endanger their sa… https://t.co/unXolybKap— Marcella Murga (@Marcella Murga)1541088497.0
@TaylorrObvi @LandoWho @llorallorando @BlerdMommy So only women who freely wear the scarf get to speak up about wom… https://t.co/bzK0OdwozU— Gillian Milstein (@Gillian Milstein)1541120999.0
There was a longer version of the ad that showed more diversity. BuzzFeed notes that Refaeli is joined by:
"Transgender model Stav Strashko, conservative personality Melech Zilbershlag, and Ethiopian Israeli model Tahounia Rubel."
Might be worth mentioning that she's doing it in solidarity with women who live under mandatory hijab rules in Iran… https://t.co/M4mfDtN9uG— Jordan Schachtel (@Jordan Schachtel)1541014222.0
@thedailybeast That’s exactly what brave feminists in Iran are doing daily. What’s wrong with taking off a symbol o… https://t.co/KWQAwM75Zt— Les Imago (@Les Imago)1541003194.0
This explanation makes a lot of sense.
@ImagoLes @thedailybeast people don’t understand the integration of religion and culture! religion states that it i… https://t.co/07Oa2Jpz64— A🦄 (@A🦄)1541027924.0
But then so does this.
@ImagoLes @thedailybeast Because it’s not a symbol of oppression for the millions of other women who wear it by cho… https://t.co/lvSsqcvSYT— Jeff Goldblum (@Jeff Goldblum)1541038173.0
We don't see this controversy ending soon,