Dounia Batma versus Carmen Souleyman, when body matters more than voice
By Hassane Oudaden
Morocco World News
Fez, March 28, 2012
With regard to all the uproar brought about by the MBC programme ‘Arab Idol’, I thought of sharing my opinion on this platform. This opinion piece is also some sort of response to Mr. Bouabid Elkhattab’s article “Dounia Batma: One f a kind”. Well, having been, recently, the victim of an outpouring onslaught of recent news posted about ‘Arab idol’, I was propelled to youtube to see some highlights about the contestants and drew certain personal conclusions. First, I have to focus on the last three finalists including two women and one man. The fact that the ‘male’ participant quit the contest at the semi-final is rather an act of riddance and exclusion.
According to assorted comments posted on different sites, the person from Jordan proved to be outstanding and distinguished by a charming voice. However, because he is simply a male, he is not well suited for the market of publicity. Thus, he becomes unsought candidate. Gender approach is and has always been a major actor and factor determining priority, and in the advertising institution, the woman is always preferred and chosen. The pity is that which is, indeed, chosen; it is not about the essence of the woman, it is her body. This is exactly the story with the Moroccan Dounia Vs Carmen. The competition switched from essence to surface. The body of the woman becomes the site that decides on the one with priority.
Back to comments and news on the two candidates, everybody thought that the title is almost already in Dounia’s pocket. I was really astonished to read that even some non-Moroccan people volunteered, out of their foolish love to Dounia’s killing voice, with fortunes of money to pack and support her. However, how much can these people afford compared with the sprawling Pepsi and Platinum Production Companies? It’s a matter of fact that Dounia’s saccharine voice is distinguishable and sharp, a voice that kindles people’s ears and inflames their hearts. I learnt that Dounia’s voice and phonation even made a jury member cry, so is definitely the story for millions of people around the world; yet, who cares for a voice? The body is the capital for Pepsi and Platinum Companies.
The ultimate aim is to make the best profit of a woman’s body in advertizing. Media create events, media fictionalize facts, and in worst cases, lies become even ‘factualized’. Hence, Carmen could have been favored for her facial image, her body, and her visual aspect. Carmen will be a simple means through which the sponsors’ products will gain high sale rates. Carmen’s body is that which will be operated on for marketing and business ends, the voice is no more than a plus. Even if all Moroccans had voted, or even if the jury itself had to transparently vote in front of the audience, I strongly believe that the sponsors reserve full and exclusive rights to cause difference. That’s the lobby that determines by the end.
Hassane Oudadene is Doctoral Candidate-Cultural Studies Department- at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdullah University in Fez, Morocco, He is Morocco World News’ Contributor. He can be reached at: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved.