After 22-year-old Iraqi model Tara Fares was shot dead by gunmen in Iraq, many netizens have taken their fear and alarm to social media, claiming her murder is an ominous sign of the existing problems in the country’s conservative society.
Tattooed Fares, reportedly crowned Miss Baghdad in 2015, gained an impressive following of 2.7 million people and was voted one of Iraq's most influential social media personalities. However, along with admiring comments from her fans and friends, the girl, who often posted pictures in shorts, short skirts and short-sleeved dresses, considered normal in the West, but inappropriate in the eyes of the conservative Islamic society, was often threatened because of her photos. Even her death didn’t stop the flow of negativity.
Just a month before her murder, two women, who had accounts dedicated to fashion and beauty, were found dead under suspicious circumstances. One of them was a local plastic surgeon, dubbed “Iraqi Barbie”; the other owned a beauty salon.
This spat of deaths freshened memories about the murder of Pakistani model and blogger Qandeel Baloch, dubbed the Pakistani Kim Kardashian. The 26-year-old woman, who provided for her family with her social media activities, had been strangled by her brother. He later claimed that he had no repentance for his deeds, as his sister, who posted bikini pictures, was a shame for the family.
However, the rage of families and religious countrymen doesn’t stop many young people in Muslim countries from enjoying a social media presence.
In Iran, posh guys and girls share snaps of their beautiful lives with fashion shoots, restaurants, yachts and pool parties, on an Instagram account called the Rich Kids of Tehran. While some women in the photos stick to traditional hijabs, covering their heads, others pose in bikinis and tiny dresses.
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