Liverpool FC’s Mo Salah has come under fire for posing shirtless on the cover of men’s magazine GQ after winning the publication’s Man of the Year award, sparking a debate about double standards of ‘modesty’ norms relating to gender.
Images of the shoot, which were released on Friday, showed the Egyptian footballer alongside Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, who won the magazine’s Fashion Icon award.
“Each time he steps on a pitch, Mohamed Salah balances the expectations of a nation – and one of the world’s most famous football clubs,” GQ said of Salah.
But once the photos reached social media, it was a different sort of expectations which came up for debate.
“Any Arab woman in the public spotlight wouldn’t be able to get away with 1/1000 of what Mo Salah is celebrated for and its for that reason I stopped stanning this man and won’t celebrate any Arab man until Arab women are afforded the same unconditional support,” wrote one Twitter user, referring to how a similar shoot by an Arab woman may be received very differently.
“Imagine an Arab woman athlete posing like this, with male white models draped across her shoulders.The fadee7a [Arabic for scandalous] patrols would be deafening and she’d be lucky to survive,” said another, refrerring to the other social media users who trawl online feeds for potentially scandalous news, particularly about Arab women.
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) October 12, 2019
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) October 11, 2019