• | 4:30 pm

Iraqi actress to sue The Economist magazine for fat shaming

The Economist used Enas Taleb’s image with an article about obesity among women in the Middle East

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

An Iraqi talk show and actress, Enas Taleb, will sue the British magazine The Economist for publishing her picture and an article about “Fat” women.

The article “Why Women Are Fatter Than Men in the Arab World” was published in June, suggesting that Arab women weigh more than men, citing poverty and social barriers like limitations around leaving their homes. The paper also stated that the men found “curvy” women more attractive.

The British weekly used one of Taleb’s images taken at the Babylon International Festival in Iraq to illustrate its point. It also said that “Iraqis often cite Enas Taleb, an actress with ample curves (pictured), as the ideal of beauty.”

Taleb is a local celebrity with over 9 million followers on Instagram and has acted in various locally produced television programs. The fact that her image was used to illustrate a story about obesity has drawn severe criticism.

“It was disappointing to see an international outlet label me as if all my accomplishments mean nothing. I am healthy and happy with the way I look, and to me, that is all that matters,” Taleb said in an interview.

Readers across borders and societies have criticized the double standards of the western media. On the one hand, publications hail plus-size artists and talk about their positive contribution to society. Conversely, it is difficult to comprehend that the magazine chose to single out Arab women when it wanted to highlight that obesity is a global issue.

The former Iraqi Minister of Migration and Displacement, Evan Gab, has come out in support of Taleb and tweeted, “It is our moral and human obligation to show support to the actress Enas Taleb after the insult.”

“I have decided to take legal action against The Economist for their cover story. I am demanding compensation for the emotional, mental, and social damage this incident has caused me. My legal team and I are arranging the next steps,” Taleb said in an interview.

Most Innovative Companies comes to the Middle East this October! Click here to know more.

More Top Stories: