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Marion Cotillard criticized for cutting off hair to support women in Iran
Featured Image Credit: Instagram @marioncotillard / Leo Bild / Alamy Stock Photo

Marion Cotillard criticized for cutting off hair to support women in Iran

The Oscar-winner showed solidarity with the 'courageous women and men of Iran', but some think this isn't the support that's needed

Marion Cotillard has been criticised for cutting off her hair to support women in Iran.

The Oscar-winner can be seen cutting her locks in a video, along with other stars such as Juliette Binoche, Charlotte Rampling, Charlotte Gainsbourg and singer Jane Birkin.

The video - posted on Instagram along with the hashtag #HairForFreedom - comes as Iran is engulfed by anti-government protests, following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code.

The video has amassed thousands and thousands of likes, but not everyone is on board with it.

Watch here:

Columnist and teacher, Nadeine Asbali, did not hold back in her criticism of the celebs' #HairForFreedom efforts.

Writing for the Metro, she said: "If there was a list of things that truly help Muslim women fighting for agency over their own bodies, then white European women cutting off centimetres of hair on the internet would be near the bottom."

Asbali accepted that standing up for the cause is a 'good thing'; however, she reasoned that the likes of Cotillard were 'misguided' and their support was therefore 'problematic'.

"Firstly, it's painfully selective," she wrote. "Where is the burning anger of French actresses when Muslim women in their own country are fighting for the right to cover themselves?

"Where were the French actresses defiantly flouting anti-niqab rules in solidarity with their own country-women who were banned from public spaces wearing their religious attire?"

She continued: "The problem is that (mostly white) feminists only embrace Muslim women who fit their own narrow expectations of what a feminist should be.

"The fight to remove a piece of religious clothing is seen as brave, patriarchy-defying and admirable. But the fight to wear modest garments is seen as the opposite. It's seen as succumbing to misogyny, allowing ourselves to be oppressed, even when it can be as dangerous and brave an act as removing your hijab in a country like Iran."

Furthermore, Asbali argued that the protests in Iran - which have been going on for weeks - have been misconstrued.

In her piece, she highlighted an important distinction - the burning of the hijab represents protest against the coercion and control of the state, rather than the wearing of the hijab itself.

There have been international protests since the death of Amini.
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

She wrote: "Many of the women in Iran are fighting for the right to choose to cover or not, something numerous Muslim women like me take for granted.

"If the law changed today, a sizeable chunk of them would still wear the hijab, but it would be under their own compulsion rather than the regime's rulings. 

"This is different to the idea white feminists seem to be rallying around – this image of all Muslim women the world over ripping our hijabs off in an anti-patriarchy frenzy and admitting we were oppressed by our religion all along and that true liberty lies in mini skirts and long, flowing hair."

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Topics: World News, Celebrity, Iran