Be pretty and write

Athoob Alshuaibi

Recently the Kuwait International Bookfair took place and as almost every year, it was accompanied by demands and calls from those objecting to the banning of books. Writers, novelists, artists and human rights activists – we find them silent throughout the year, except at this particular time. Surprisingly, there are a great number of objectors, but we have never heard that anyone has submitted a literary or artistic work that stimulates the book censorship issue.

The second contradiction that is seen is the practice of the censors and their disdain through social media for Kuwaiti fashionistas breaking into the world of novel writing, forgetting that freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed by the constitution. Plus, pen and paper are available to all, and everyone can try their fortune in the literary arena. The actual measure of any writer’s success is the popularity of her books. The writer’s star may fade for lack of productions. At the same time, the number of published books is not a criterion of success. It’s quality over quantity.

Their discontent shows an effort to confine literary arts to the elites, much like what the early 19th century photographers did after Kodak launched the first commercial film camera to the public in 1888. In addition, nothing is worse than firing sentences on books based on their covers. In the end, good will out itself. Not to mention that many of Kuwait’s fashionistas are educated women, and their interest in fashion is a credit to them, and not against them.

Literary snobbishness is the worst thing a writer can reach, because he pays himself a mandate to criticize others, to favor work of another, objecting to his author, and sometimes without reading the content. One author was shocked by what he called “the invasion of fashionistas of the literary world,” and said that the book fair has become now a place to gather nausea and feces, corn and shawarma.

I believe that beautiful, successful women have proved to the world that the universal French belief that beauty is frequently accompanied by stupidity and a lack of intelligence – according to the famous proverb: “Just shut up and be pretty” – is no longer fit for intellectual consumption.

This article is a letter of appreciation to all the fashionistas who spoke and weren’t afraid, and succeeded in adding a drop in the river of literature.

By Athoob Alshuaibi
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