Traditional outfits and modest clothing are being abandoned in favor of sleek new styles for this generation of youth in Iraq. For both young men and women, they are beginning to adopt western styles of fashion. This means skin tight jeans and high heels for girls, and slacks and spiky hairdos for guys. While the youth are enjoying more freedom with their wardrobe selection, the transition is a nightmare for the older generation who feel that customs and tradition are being abandoned in favor of what is hip and popular.
A few clerics, however, find the fashion sense to be in violation of religious morality and have took it upon themselves to dispatch a group of security guards to assume the role of fashion police and crack down on youth who dress provocatively.
Posters have also been displayed warning people, especially women, to dress conservatively and to be covered from head to toe. Posters have also reminded women to wear a head scarf.
Some residents in Baghdad have even petitioned for a law to pass to require women to be veiled when walking in public areas. The government, however, has been in support of personal freedoms and even ordered posters that enforced dress codes to be removed.
By law, women are only required to wear a headscarf when entering a mosque. Outside, however, they are encouraged to wear one out of modesty though it is certainly not against the law not to wear one.
Western styles have become more prominent ever since the U.S. invasion that lead to the topple of Saddam Husseinâ€™s regime. More women are beginning to abandon their head scarves and favor tight fitting clothing. Men are also beginning to break from tradition by getting tattoos and piercings.
There is a clear division between the youth who value personal freedom and the older generation who maintain that traditional customs and respect for religion must be adhered to.
Foreign media reports of the new Israeli law targeted to fight eating disorders are flooding world news. “It’s fantastic!” said plus size model Emme to CNN. Israel is the pioneer, hopefully others soon will follow. The Modeling Bill passed second and third readings and echoed around the world. News networks around the world are speculating whether or not this precedent will inspire other governments to pass bills of this nature.
According to the modeling law, passed a few days ago, male and female models that are clinically underweight will not appear in commercials in the state of Israel. Furthermore, the usage of editing or retouching using programs like Photoshop in order to take in body measurements must be pointed out in bold noticeable writing. These terms will also apply on advertising produced abroad with foreign models that are imported to Israel.
The daily telegraph’s fashion section reported the passing of the bill and mentioned Israel is the first country that has prohibited under weight among professional models. “This looks like the first attempt by a government to fight the fashion industry accused of encouraging eating disorders by putting extreme thinness on a pedestal. This law could inspire other countries battling the Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa epidemics, especially among young women”.
The American CNN network also addressed the new law. American plus size super model Emme said in an interview to the network that the law is sure to encourage other countries to implement similar measures in the battle on eating disorders and prohibit underweight models to appear in advertising.
“I think it’s fantastic! So many men and women are struggling to achieve an appearance that is both unrealistic and unhealthy”, said Emme. The American model also pointed out that the British government has also been vigorously active in stopping advertising agencies that alter girths in photographs and use photographs that present models in an unrealistic manner. News of the groundbreaking bill even reached The Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet Daily News, which has addressed the new law.
According to the bill, the minimum BMI (Body Mass Index) for models is 18.5, under which it will be illegal for models to appear in advertising. Body mass index is defined as the individual’s body mass divided by the square of his or her height. The agency hiring the model will have to refer the model for a medical examination that will determine weather or not he or she are eligible according to the new criteria.
When the Jews of the Diaspora began moving around the world in an attempt to assimilate into new societies while sustaining their own culture, they found success in two main fields; the first was as money-lenders and the second was as artisans. There is something in the Jewish Neshama that lends itself to creative output.
As most of you know, Israel has become a global fashion hotspot; a volcano of new trends and hip and fashionable wear. A new jewelry line out of Israel called MIZZE is an example of this Jewish flare for creativity and originality.
MIZZE is a designer line of casual jewelry, and they say that it is all “made for luck.” Because we live in such hectic times, Mizze’s jewelry focuses on balance and positive spiritual energy. They’re necklaces, anklets and bracelets are casual and everyday type of wear, however they bring the Mediterranean breeze from the Tel Aviv coast to where ever the person wearing them travels.
The line is designed by a completely independent studio here b’Eretz. Everything is crafted by hand and made with natural materials. The chords employ traditional patterns in knitting and weaving; and the charms are ancient symbols with the occasional embedded script of both modern Hebrew and ancient Hebrew characters.
The seamless blending of hip contemporary style with ancient Jewish themes by Mizze is very nouveau-Israeli and can be found at fine retail outlets and jewelry stores.
Supermodel Bar Rafaeli seems to going on a virtual fashion model “rampage”; and this time her beautiful attributes are gracing the pages of Rampage Clothing Company, an upscale fashion clothing and accessory company, whose quality apparel is sold via licensed representatives (upscale clothing department stores) and via their online shop. Following her two previous cover girl appearances on Sports Illustrated Swimsuits and on the men’s magazine Esquire, the Israeli beauty queen, who recently celebrated her 24th birthday, was given an attractive offer by the Rampage management to model their company’s upcoming Fall 2009 fashion line.
Ms Rafaeli, whose lovely form and facial appearance was seen in the company of American actor ands heart throb Leonardo Dicaprio, seems to enjoy her new status as one of the world’s most beautiful women â€“ so much in fact that no other model in her home country wants to appear in any kind of modeling job with her in fear of being upstaged by the young blond bombshell. And all this is in spite of Israel’s present representation of having some of the most beautiful women in the world living there.
In a recent TV interview, Rafaeli said that it doesnâ€™t bother her to do a variety of poses, including many where she is very scantily clad â€“ or, in the case of the Esquire poses, virtually unclad. “I enjoy my work and am happy that people find me attractive” she said.
So far, she has refrained from posing for such international “flesh” magazines as Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler; although they would probably pay her a pretty penny to do so.
While some talk of Bar Rafeli pursuing a film career, as other Israeli women have done, including Natalie Portman and Liraz Charhi, Bar seems content at the moment to let her “body do the talking”; and this is apparent in her new fashion gig display for Rampage.
And why not? She is a hot item in the beauty and fashion world and has a long way to go before reaching her prime. What direction her career will head off to now is still uncertain; but for sure, we’ll see more of her beauty in the coming months. As the popular saying goes: “If you’ve got it â€“ flaunt it!”