Chime For Change: Between Exploitation and Fame

The topic of women’s rights is now a hot topic, everybody wants to work on it, one of the latest campaigns I have come across is “Chime for Change” where Beyoncé, Frida Giannini and Salma Hayek joins Gucci to do a campaign to bring in change. Ofcourse they are asking people to donate.

Here is my question why is it that Gucci asking for donation? Did celebrities and rich people suddenly stopped buying their $2,000 leather bags? Leather is probably made from an animal found in Africa where the women they allegedly are trying to help, here is a random thought stop killing animals leading them extinction. Stop killing the natural resources of those countries.

Beyoncé who makes about $40 million a year which is more that how much my entire family would make in a life time but yet she is calling people to donate, in the video Beyoncé is Chime for health. I have to ask here what is healthy to her? Do plastic surgeries fall under the category of healthy? From a Nose Job, Lip Reduction, Boob Job to Skin Lightening. Why would she do all this to herself? The answer is simple so she can look perfect and make more money. So sad and insecure!!!

Frida Giannini is an Italian fashion designer and currently the Creative Director of the Italian fashion house Gucci, She is chime for Education. What kind of education will she be promoting? That beauty and fashion are most important things for a woman? Again I am not jumping up and down.

Last but not least is Salma Hayek, She also had her share of plastic surgery, and she makes less money that Beyoncé but still makes enough for her to donate.

Almost everyone in this campaign endorses patriarchy through her movies, songs or clothes. They use women to sell more products or records. Women are just bodies to them. A way for them to make more money, they alter our perception of women to their own distorted narrowed vision of women.

The campaign doesn’t mention any local organization they are working with. Every activist who does field knows that in order to help a certain group of people you need the help of a local person or entity. I wonder if Beyoncé, Salma, Frida or Gucci asked the women in Africa or India about their needs. They are making assumptions. Seems like an elitist charity party that they are throwing to make them look better. What a shame!!!

The independent wrote “The campaign Chime for Change brought female empowerment to the world in the form of a concert, the Sound of Change Live, billed as a “feminist Live Aid” and broadcast to more than 150 countries across the world. “

I am in Egypt and I didn’t see it, or is Egypt not one of the 150 countries that received the broadcast? And Feminist aid? Really?

The videos they used to endorse their campaign were made by women and men who risk their lives by taking those videos and broadcast them. They did it for the sake of their women and country not for some rich people who think they are better.

Helping women requires a lot of work, not only on a financial level but also emotional and psychological level. You listen to their problem and try to find ways to help them and sometime you will have to surrender to the fact that you will be helpless many times.

It also requires that we get off our high horse and start holding each other’s hands. It requires that we stop believing that we are better just because have a college education. The only way we will be able to rise up as women of this world is if we start sharing knowledge and listen more than we talk. Criticize each other. Stop the “I will support you no matter what” syndrome as Dina Wahba said in her article to Aswat Masriya. NO I will no support you if you are not making sense.

There are lot of great feminists around the world who risk their lives and spirits every single day to help women in their struggle against patriarchy, apartheid and discrimination; those are the ones who truly need our support. I would suggest that Gucci get in touch with the local feminists in the countries they are targeting (if they really want help) and see what they need. Support the local communities.

To all those who has money to donate please think twice of whom you are donating to. Not everyone who says I am an advocate for women’s issue actually cares. Some are just in it for the money and fame.