Egyptian singer arrested for suggestively eating a banana in new music video
Music videos are rife with sexual imagery nowadays. Over the last few years, it seems like mainstream music videos have become even more raunchy and risqué. I remember the moment that my eyes were first opened to this racy nature of the videos, with Eric Prydz "Call On Me" changing the way I viewed the world and seemingly turning me into a man in the space of two minutes and 52 seconds.
However, while the Prydz video caused controversy for its highly charged sexual imagery at the time, it seems like every music video is now packed full of scantily-clad bodies. But one country that is seemingly yet to accept this new mode of sexual expression, particularly when it comes to women, is Egypt.
An Egyptian pop singer has been arrested for "inciting debauchery" due to a music video where she appears to suggestively eat a banana. Shaimaa Ahmed, who is better known by her stage name Shyma, pulled out the oldest sexual innuendo in the book when she tucked into the fruit in front of a classroom full of young men, and officials in her country are not happy.
Not done with the suggestive-fruit-eating, Shyma also appears in the video dressed in just her underwear and in front of a blackboard with "Class #69" written on it. She also proceeds to suggestively eat an apple and pour milk all over the fruit.
The video is for her single "I Have Issues" and it has created such a stir in the conservative country that it has been discussed on TV talk shows. But while it may seem fairly innocuous to the majority of people, Shyma was arrested for her role in the video and security officials say that prosecutors have ordered the 25-year-old to be detained for a week.
Shyma was arrested last week and was initially remanded for four days, but prosecutors ordered her to be detained for seven days.
It's not the first time that Egypt has reprimanded a female singer for expressing taking ownership of her body, with the country also reprimanding a Lebanese pop star for wearing a pair of shorts when performing on stage.
Haifa Wehbe, 41, claims that she was "called for interrogation" after donning a pair of mini-shorts during a performance at the American University in Cairo. According to the singer, a female journalist was so upset with her performance that she complained to the country's tourism police. The police passed on the complaint to the Egyptian Musicians' Syndicate, which licenses performers in the country. They summoned Haifa's manager who was warned that the singer should pick outfits which "take into account the traditions and customs of Egyptian people."
While Shyma's video is cringe-worthy more than anything and the song is trash, she doesn't need to be arrested for it. While women's rights have come on leaps and bounds, the fact that they still can't take ownership of their bodies in countries such as Egypt suggests that there is still a long way to go until we achieve gender equality on an international level.