Popular Iraqi actress Enas Taleb to sue The Economist over 'fat' picture

Popular Iraqi actress Enas Taleb to sue The Economist over 'fat' picture
Enas Taleb's image was used by The Economist in an article about the reasons for Arab women being 'fatter' than men.
2 min read
10 August, 2022
Enas Taleb is suing the British weekly newspaper over the use of a photograph of her [Getty]

Iraqi actress Enas Taleb has said she will sue The Economist over the use of a photograph of her in an article titled ‘Why women are fatter than men in the Arab world’.

"I have decided to take legal action against The Economist for their cover story. I am demanding compensation for the emotional, mental and social damage this incident has caused me. My legal team and I are arranging the next steps," Taleb said in an interview with New Lines published on Tuesday. 

Enas Taleb is a popular Iraqi actress with nine million followers on Instagram.

The British weekly newspaper published the article in late July and used a picture of Taleb from the Babylon International Festival in Iraq last year. Taleb’s image was reportedly used out of context and without permission, and she claimed it had been Photoshopped, according to the BBC.

The piece argues that societal pressures and poverty are reasons why more Arab women are overweight when compared to men, and that "curves" are perceived to be more attractive. 

The actress labelled this argument an "insult" to Arab women and asked why the publication "takes interest in fat women in the Arab world and not in Europe or the USA", according to the BBC

The article has been widely criticised on social media, with dozens of users accusing The Economist of "misogyny" and "body shaming" Arab women. 

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"Audiences have loved me for many years. It was disappointing to see an international outlet label me as if all my accomplishments mean nothing. I am healthy and happy with the way I look, and to me that is all that matters," Taleb told New Lines.

This is not the first time The Economist has come under fire for stories about the Middle East. Last month, the British publication was criticised for a 'racist' depiction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The New Arab has contacted The Economist for comment.