‘A slap in the face of every Muslim woman’: Vogue France criticised for praising Julia Fox’s headscarf

The French Senate recently voted to ban women from wearing headscarves in sporting competitions

Saman Javed
Tuesday 01 February 2022 11:45 GMT
Julia Fox wears black headscarf in Paris, January 25
Julia Fox wears black headscarf in Paris, January 25 (GC Images)

Social media users have criticised Vogue France as “hypocritical” after the magazine praised actor Julia Fox for wearing a headscarf.

In a now-edited post to its Instagram, the publication shared a photograph of Fox arriving at a Paris Men’s Fashion Week show dressed in a leather Balenciaga trench coat, accessorised with a black headscarf and sunglasses.

“Yes to the headscarf! Swipe left for your recap of Julia Fox and Kanye West style journey at the haute couture shows in Paris this week,” the previous caption read. It has since been edited to remove all reference to Fox’s headscarf.

The post sparked backlash from Instagram users, who criticised the magazine for perpetuating a “double standard” and “praising [Fox] for wearing a headscarf in a country that actively oppresses Muslim women from doing so”.

Muslim women’s right to wear the hijab has been a point of contention in France since 1989 when three students were suspended from a school in Creil for refusing to remove their headscarves.

Since then, at least 100 girls have been suspended or expelled from schools for wearing a hijab in class. In nearly half of these cases, the exclusions were annulled by the French courts.

The country later imposed a ban on face coverings, such as the niqab and the burqa, in 2011. The burqa is a full face veil while the niqab covers everything but the eyes.

Earlier this month, the French Senate voted in favour of banning the wearing of “religious symbols” – which would include the hijab – in sports competitions.

The ban, which was proposed by right-wing group Les Republicans and opposed by the Emmanuel Macron’s government, was approved with 160 votes in favour, and 143 against.

Members of the National Assembly and Senate will meet to discuss the legislation further, and it may be dropped.

Elsewhere in sports, the French Football Federation, the governing body of football in the country, already prohibits women from wearing the hijab during official club matches and international games.

Given the restrictions imposed on Muslim women in the country, social media users have labelled Vogue France’s post as “frustratingly tone deaf”.

“Yes to the headscarf? This is really quite insensitive to the hijab ban in France and glamorising non-Muslim women for wearing something that Muslim women are constantly policed about,” one Instagram user commented.

Another wrote: “So the headscarf is OK on a non-Muslim? Fashion is allowed, not religion? Freedom of choice is only for white people?”

According to a 2019 report by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, 60 per cent of Muslim women who wore a hijab reported being discriminated against because of their religion.

“This a slap in the face of every Muslim woman who has faced harassment for wearing the hijab,” one Twitter user wrote. “Yet when Julia Fox wears it, it’s fashion and Vogue worthy?”

“Many hijabi women have to wear a beanie or a turban instead of their hijab when they’re in France, meanwhile celebs and models wear it and suddenly it’s ‘high fashion’?? This is actually evil,” another said.

The Independent has contacted Vogue France for comment.

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