By: Ashwini Thanabalan
Well-known internet personality, Xiaxue, has recently posted a video titled “ISIS Makeup tutorial!!! Gorgeous terrorist makeup so hot right now”.
A little background story as to what inspired her look. ISIS militants were cross-dressing as women to flee from Mosul after the city was liberated from their fortress. While doing so, one of the men forgot to shave his facial hair, which resulted him to look like this
A rather appalling sight, with the man taking the effort to fix his unibrow but neglecting his moustache and goatee.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the man, with Xiaxue. Can you spot the difference?
Netizens however, were unhappy stating that what Xiaxue had done was inappropriate and promoting islamophobia. They were unhappy with the fact that Xiaxue had dawn a headscarf and thick facial hair, which were forms of ‘Muslim visibility’. These forms are said to make Singaporeans uncomfortable as they are stereotypically associated with violence and terrorism.
Though arguments from the netizens assumes that Singaporeans are “uncomfortable” and that inadvertently links Muslims and ISIS terrorists together, the focus of the original news piece was the terrorist’s laughable disguise. And, that goes the same for Xiaxue’s video as well.
In the video, Xiaxue made no mention of religion, but was mocking the terrorist’s perception of femininity, Muslim or not.
Muslims around the world do face a social stigma, due to the doings of extremists. However, Xiaxue’s video did not perpetuate such social stigmas. Is it safe to say that Singaporeans are just being too sensitive then?