You shouldn’t look like this if you want to run for office in Iraq

Post of Ashwaq Talib al-Zughaibi from the Shiite bloc National Iraqi Alliance (NIA).

Iraqis have long been used to seeing female parliamentarians belonging to conservative Islamist parties cover up, either by donning the Islamic head cover or the traditional black abaya.

But for the upcoming parliamentary elections in April, one of the hopeful candidates, Ashwaq Talib al-Zughaibi from the Shiite bloc National Iraqi Alliance (NIA), took a decidedly different approach.

In her poster, which says “you own the decision, so make a better choice,” Zughaibi doesn’t cover her blonde locks and wears bright pink lipstick.

Her lip gloss, which matched the pink top underneath her dark suit, led some social media users to berate the candidate.

“I bet her shoes [are] also pink, matching with her lipstick and top,” one Facebook user said, while another said: “she will take all of Iraq’s budget to spend on makeup.”

Others responded in even harsher tones.

“She looks stupid” said one user, while another said: “what qualifications does she have besides her looks?”

Others derided her look as overly unprofessional: “Is she a political candidate or a singer?” said one user…

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