It’s safe to say that the topic of the hour for the last day must have been Hala Shiha taking off the veil. Social media users have been losing their minds, and everyone has been adding their two cents on the topic.
While we understand that there are those who are excited to see her go back to acting, the reality is, they are only a few exceptions. Everyone else seems to be concerned with whether or not it’s the right decision.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t add my two cents as well about the topic. The issue remains, why do we even care?
The opinions regarding this issue seem somewhat hypocritical. Actors and artists, in general, are mostly the butt of every joke when it comes to being “role models”. The idea of being an artist is still frowned upon by many Egyptians, especially the older generations. Yet, somehow, those same people pick and choose when they can present an artist as a role model.
Celebrities have always been the main tool for those who want to push a certain agenda or an ideology; whether the celebrity is in on it or not. Hijab is certainly the most sensitive subject to prove this theory – mostly because it brings the worst in people with or against it.
People gave themselves the liberty to judge Hala Shiha even though the lady did not make a single statement about her decision. What we find even more extreme is the fact that people are actually getting emotional about her decision – with or against alike.
Hala Shiha retired from acting and wore the veil in 2003, to later take it off a few months after. She then decided to put it on again in 2005 during the time of her marriage to singer/actor Hany Adel. After the couple’s breakup in 2006, the media started to know less about the actress. She later remarried and moved to Canada and was known to having to wear the niqab.
However, actresses seem to be getting attacked regardless. Earlier this year, actress Nelly Kareem has received extreme backlash for posting a makeup-free picture of herself on the beach on her Instagram account.
Rising star Rahma Hassan received backlash as well when photographer Salma El Kashef posted a photo session of the actress in a bikini, forcing the actress to post an unnecessary apology video.
While it might seem that actresses get attacked for taking off the veil for religious reasons, it seems that actresses will get attacked anyway.
Should we blame the actresses for their decisions? Absolutely not. Should we blame those who attack them? Not entirely. The reality is, people will obsess over celebrities’ life decisions, whether they concern them or not.
The root of the problem is people’s mentality, and a culture that will not change overnight. This doesn’t apply to just Egyptians and Arabs, it applies to celebrities worldwide.
The bright side for Hala? People will get busy with something else soon enough.