Malaysia is Bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Before I begin, this post is about Gwen Stefani.

Do I have your interest, men of the Western world?

More specifically, it is about Gwen Stefani not wearing revealing clothing.

Good. Now that I have successfully dissolved that interest I just built, let’s begin.

Gwen Stefani has agreed not to be overly revealing or sexual in her upcoming performance in Malaysia. My first questions was; why? For someone who was once part of a successful and talented band like No Doubt, Miss Stefani’s more recent exploits have her singing over far more generic, pre-recorded beats and fall far short of what I would call music. Indeed with Gwen’s career becoming ever more reliant upon her image and sex appeal the only logical question seems to be ‘why?’

In this instance, Gwen and her record exec buddies are submitting to recent protests by Muslims students in Malaysia against what they are anticipating will be her violation of local ethics standard. These standards, which involve what is called ‘unnecessary baring of skin,’ only apply to foreign artists. Evidently racial profiling is alive and well in Malaysia; maybe I should move there.

A press release from Stefani’s camp noted that the singer “has confirmed that her concert will not feature any revealing costumes. She will abide by the Malaysian authorities’ guidelines to ensure that her show will not be offensive to local sensitivities.” According to the Official Guide to Performing in Malaysia (I am amazed such a thing even exists) a female artist performing in that nation must be completely covered from “the top of her chest to her knees.” This agreement to submit to local standards, however, runs a little deeper than just showing one’s skin.

gwen.jpg
If you count the fishnets I think all the offending skin is technically covered here.

The same accord also forbids women on stage from “jumping, shouting or throwing of objects on-stage or at the audience.”

This obviously eliminates any last hope we had of Gallagher’s long-lost sister starting up a watermelon-smashing revival show in Kuala Lumpur. Guess we dodged a bullet there.

Additionally, women cannot “hug or kiss, and their clothes cannot have obscene or drug-related images or messages.”

So T.A.T.U. might want to rethink their upcoming 37-city Malaysian tour.

The vice president of The National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students, the group who led the pre-Gwen protest, stated that the concert should be stopped outright as he deemed Stefani’s performance and attire to promote “a certain degree of obscenity and will encourage youth to emulate the western lifestyle.”

At least that make more sense than banning certain attire and acts on-stage. If you honestly believe this concert will corrupt your nation’s youth then wanting it stopped does not seem totally irrational. It would make a lot more sense to allow the concert and the skimpy clothes, the jiggling breasts (well, not a Gwen show), and all the general debauchery that can be purchased for the cost of admission. This way the people can decide for themselves. The forty percent of Malaysia’s population who is not Muslim and who might enjoy that type of show can have a blast and the sixty percent Muslim majority can stay home and ignore the sinners rocking-out to “Hollaback Girl.”

Come on, Malaysia… can’t we all just get along?

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