We are a country with a body image. Literally.
The Lebanese candidate to the skiing segment of the Olympics, Jackie Chamoun, is making the rounds lately due to a nude photo shoot that she underwent last year. The reason her pictures are making the round this year is simply due to her becoming known subsequently to her moderate national exposure post Olympics fever.
Naturally, in pure Lebanese fashion, what Jackie Chamoun did is being turned into a national scandal, of her disgracing our country by baring her breasts to the ice cold of Faraya and the lens of a foreign photographer.
This is the video in question:
Are breasts only scandalous when they’re Lebanese?
Jackie Chamoun isn’t the first nor will she be the last Lebanese woman to take off her clothes for a camera lens. A few months ago, a reputable website in the country turned pictures of a woman named Rasha Kahil, taken back in 2008, into a matter of national importance. How dare she reveal her private parts to the entire world? Does she have no shame? Doesn’t she have in the perfect reputation of her country in mind while doing such heinous acts?
When it comes to sex, we have a long way to go. Perhaps things are slowly changing. But there’s more to Lebanon than Beirut and its surroundings.
Why is it that Lebanese T&A is highly susceptible of immediately becoming a scandal, of being extrapolated to a figurative matter of national identity, of becoming a national crisis? Aren’t they just breasts?
Is it because there’s a fear that such behavior would somehow diffuse off of a computer screen? Is it because of a fear that what those women do will somehow ruin the minds of those who don’t do similarly? Or is it because what those women do does not fit with some people’s moral code of choice?
Why is this country so in love with gossip that things are very rarely seen as they are? Why do we over-sensationalize meaningless things when we have so many other things that have inborn sensationalism?
I can think of so many things that warrant are true scandals about this country, that warrant a discussion much, much more than Jackie Chamou’s breasts. At the top of my head, I can think of the several explosions that have taken place within the past couple of months alone and the fact that they’ve become second nature to life in this place. I can think of a TV station that figured instagramming the body parts of a suicide bomber was a good idea. I can think of the fact that we haven’t had a decently functioning government for the past year and nor will we have one for the next year, it seems. I can think of the fact that presidential elections are literally in 3 months but we’re still waiting for the savior president’s name to be “inspired” by neighboring countries. I can think of the fact that going to a mall requires you to go through more checkpoint than an airport’s border control. I can even think of the graffiti artist that was arrested only two days ago by some unknown party’s henchmen because of him being at the “wrong” place. I can even think of the many pictures of the living conditions of some Lebanese in the North that should be scandalous.
I just need to take a look around and open my eyes to the realization that I am living in a disintegrating country to ask myself the following question: what spotless reputation is Jackie Chamoun “ruining” and why is there outrage that the Lebanese Olympic committee should have known of her past behavior?
I’m not saying that what Jackie or Racha or any other unknown Lebanese woman whose pictures have yet to surface did is something that all women should do. I’m not saying that women whose choice of attire or of lifestyle is more conservative are backward thinking and detrimental to the cause of their gender. It’s far from the case. This isn’t about the cliche debate that naturally finds its way to pop up in such settings: veils versus nudity. How about neither?
What this is actually about is the importance and privacy of personal beliefs and how this country views your private beliefs as entirely up for grabs. It’s about how those personal beliefs, whether they fit with yours or not, are not a matter of national importance nor are they something that should be sensationalized into a scandal when there are so many other things for us to get angry about. What this is about is, perhaps, about the importance of not being insecure in your choices – whatever those choices may be, assuming they’re within a legal context obviously – and not be ashamed of them in any way whatsoever.
Jackie Chamoun is a beautiful and sexy woman who did absolutely nothing wrong. It’s sad that she will end up being named and shamed for something as silly as what she did. It’s sad that a few simple and sexy photographs will overshadow her professional skiing skills. It’s sad that some people’s well-rooted insecurities will overshadow and overcomplicate her choice.
What’s even sadder is that a country in as deep a shithole as Lebanon gets up in a fit about all the wrong things when there are so many things to get up in a fit about while no one simply does. But I guess living in a lala land where we have the prerogative of turning some pictures into a scandal is better than waking up to this reality. It’s much easier to believe, it seems, that Jackie Chamoun’s breasts are singlehandedly ruining Lebanon’s spotless and flawless reputation.
Lebanon advertised itself in Playboy previously and we dare criticize Jackie Chamoun?
This is what the media don’t want you to find out the real facts that Arab is not a country, Arab is not a passport, Arab is not a race, Arab is not a continent, Arab is not a union, Arab is fake and the creation of political corruption and media addiction to oil money helping the destruction of the minorities in the region, Lebanese are the Phoenicians more like the Mediterranean Islands people in color, Food and more.
The misleading in this video is that the first model in a string is not Jacky. She can be seen in the foreground. On the other hand, what’s the big deal behind it? Maybe in few years, women on Lebanese beaches will be topless.
The other model is Chirine Njeim.
And some Lebanese women go topless on topless beaches in Europe.
And for the topless women, i want to see them on Lebanese beaches 🙂
There is the topless private area at Edde Sands but only for those that check at the hotel.
However, bikinis are becoming very common on Lebanese beaches and many aren’t shamed of showing their behinds.
U’re right, proud of you Jacky.
I totally agree that this thing is being blown out of proportion…we definitely have a lot more dangerous things going on to ruin our reputation than a pair of bare breasts 😛
Lebanon’s reputation aside however, I do not really feel that ” It’s sad that a few simple and sexy photographs will overshadow her professional skiing skills…”, because I think she was conscious of the consequences of that decision when she made it….I mean it’s a known fact whether athletes or celebrities, posing nude will put one in the spotlight regardless of country of origin….and it seems she doesn’t care if it does overshadow her professional accomplishments:
“When I started my job, for example, people when they search for me on the web sometimes they can see these pictures directly so you think maybe it’s not the best thing, not the best image you can give someone of you. But, I don’t really care, though. I really enjoyed it and I don’t regret it. I like these photos. I have no problem with it.”
Well said! Glad you’re blogging again.
This post is exactly what I was thinking!! Thank you!!
she did this a year ago wayy BEFORE participating Olympics not after, unlike hayfa she showed her boobs to BECOME famous and a wanna be singer and shes ugly at least jackie is pretty what she did is art
Well …. when I first heard the news I said TOUUUUT…. because what they told me is that “they published photos of Jackie showing off her Brest in Faraya”… when I saw the video I really did not see what the fuss is all about? as R said it is Art and anyway the lady is gorgeous and she did a conscious decision that has only to do with her and she’s the only one to bare the consequences (if ever).
I hope this will not affect her performance today during the Olympics which is most probably the intention of publishing this video now after several years (not 1 but 3 years).
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We definitely have more important things to worry about other than some nude pics. That’s for sure. Yet despite what’s been going on, I personally don’t think it was “necessary” for her to take such photoshoots. The sad part is that she later apologized (which I don’t fully understand why if she was indeed convinced with what she did in the first place)
‘those complaining and wishing for purity should just close their eyes when they go to the club to watch pole dancers
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Well said – the priorities and the issues that REALLY need to be addressed in this country – and will not be, is irrelevant. Instead, we waste our time discussing something very trivial, and that in the end is one of personal freedom – irrespective whether we agree with her actions or not.
Do we expect otherwise – I don’t think so!!
The only innocent and most beautiful think I have ever seen in this extremely ugly country long time ago go girl and don’t give a shit what they say u did ur part and apologize
Good points made through out the article. Good job.
One more thing, Jackie asked for the video not to be shared. Could you omit the video from the post ? Not that its shameful, it is not in any way but its just respecting her wishes.
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I would like to know what kind of a slutty world do you live in ?? Just because its the 21 century doesn’t mean morals aren’t essential anymore . What is with people these days? Nothing is wrong anymore. . Wether we like it or not people need to follow some rules to keep their lives in order. Its not ok for people to go wild and think of it as ok.. if women have the right to be such shallow sluts then racism shouldn’t be wrong doing drungs shouldn’t be wrong killing and steeling shouldn’t be wrong we will just think of it as people doing what they want and expressing their true selves.. wake up life is not an American movie this is reality write and wrong still exist in the real world stop making up new rules to keep yourselves from feeling guilty AND ABOUT LEBANON every country has its own culture and we should respect every culture and the opinions of the lebanese people again if we like it or not . If you can respect people who get naked in public or gays and lesbians then you should also respect people who are conservative and religious tooo ! I don’t think jacky is the reason for all of lebanon’s problems and no I don’t think she shamed our country Do I think she is slutty?? Yes I do.. But after all she is just one person and even if she wanted to she couldn’t and we all know that so all im saying is YOU should stop making such a big deal of lebanese people’s reaction and just let it go
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