This is a contribution from a friend of mine and language tutor- Mohamed. I believe it is important consider different views of Moroccan life and culture. In this contribution, Mohamed talks about how many Moroccans view aesthetics and beauty in the oposite sex. Enjoy!
Hi, my name is Mohamed ABOUABDELLAH .I ’m Moroccan, Muslim and a teacher of English in a high school. I’ll talk about what beauty is in Morocco and how Moroccans view it.
Generally, beauty in Morocco is influenced by Islam, traditions, State rules and gender .Moroccans appreciate and admire beauty and try to express it non-orally in poetry, stories as well as in painting. It’s usually hard for them to express their feelings orally, especially for women. The latter prefer tall, well-built, slim, wise, strong and well-dressed men. Men that are influential, responsible and independent. Women in Morocco consider men the leader, the decision-maker and reliable.
On the other hand, Moroccan men like best women who are naturally beautiful (without “artificial” cosmetics), medium-sized and gentle. They are called: the gentle sex. They want them to wear vase-shaped and tight clothes ( jellabas, kaftan, mlhfa ,tkshita) .In the south of Morocco (in the desert), women have to be very fat so as to be beautiful. So, they’re using herbs and sea-water (the way they use them is a top secret) so that they look pretty in the eyes of men. Their buttocks have to be large and fat to attract men’s attention. For cosmetics, women prefer to use natural ones such as Argan oil for their skin and olive oil for their hair, black powder called kohl for their eyes, miswak (twig) for their teeth ,hanna (red mixture) to decorate their hands(girls and women) and their feet (women only).It’s also used to dye their hair. Plastic surgeries are not generally thought of and are considered out of their reach.
Islam greatly affects beauty, especially among women. It says that women must cover their body except their face. This hinders men to see and appreciate beautiful women .If women are uncovered, they‘re said to be disrespectful and tend to have a bad reputation. Flirtation is also forbidden is Islam .Instead, if you love a woman, you will have to marry her (In fact, four women are acceptable). Additionally, State rules say that there shouldn’t be any meeting or dating of lovers except if they are married. Lovers may be arrested if they‘re found in suspicious areas. Finally, gender affects beauty .Morocco is still a man-ruled society (though there are some changes).As a result, men seem to have more rights to express and enjoy beauty than women. If a woman is trying to show her love, she can be regarded as a prostitute, which makes Moroccan women so perplexed and timid.
In brief , beauty in Morocco is measured by appearance, character, as well as origin (the family).But, nowadays there are external factors that affect beauty in Morocco ,like the internet and satellite TV .These factors make The Moroccan new generations appear like Americans or Europeans in their thought and appearance.