The Abdelaziz sisters live in a world of pretty artifice. Alice, Nadine and Farah answer the door in a flurry of hellos while their fluffball dog Stella barks and tinkles the bells on her tiny collar.
They usually live in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in a family home.
The twentysomethings are all tall and thin with big eyes and dark hair.
The Abdelazizes are slightly famous in Lebanon, for modeling and posting pictures of themselves on Instagram. They have hundreds of thousands of followers.
The sisters have been compared with the Kardashians.
But the Kardashian way is not their way, they insist.
“The social media has referred to us as Lebanese Kardashians but we have different personality, different culture,” says Nadine.
I put to her that things that made the Kardashians famous might be unpopular in Lebanon – an Arab country that has a liberal streak, but it’s not California.
“This is why we always say that we have nothing to do with Kardashians – they have sex tapes, they have boyfriends at the house. We are different, it’s Lebanon after all,” she says.
Navigating the cultural mores of Lebanon may be tricky. It’s liberal enough here to be an influencer – but too traditional for scandals. The sisters want to show Lebanese women are strong
“Lebanese women are beautiful and smart and have goals and achievements,” Nadine declares. “She can do anything she wants if she sets her mind to it.”
All three have business degrees, and speak four languages. Their mantra is beauty and brains, although beauty is a preoccupation. Farah, the youngest, is wearing red velour pajamas. She shows me her bedroom: there’s a picture of herself by her bed.
“I’m addicted to makeup,” she says, showing me her collection. And to perfume, she can’t go to the mall without buying perfume. She squirts me with her latest purchase.
After I leave, I check Nadine’s Instagram. In her latest shot, she’s wearing a T-shirt that says, ”
There’s nothing salacious about them – but bloggers and the Twittersphere seem to find their superficiality itself almost offensive.
One Lebanese blogger, Najib Mitri, calls them pointless and meaningless and an insult to our intelligence.”
“The way that they portray women is really a very negative way,” someone else says.
In the sleek Beirut Souks mall downtown, I meet Sharmine Haider, a university student with glasses and traintrack braces who watched their show similar to the Kardashians he said:
“I thought it was really stupid and it was really obvious that they were acting everything out,” she says.
The Sisters hope they represent strong Lebanese women, I say.
“I hope that no one actually believes that that’s how we are,” retorts Haider. “Because most of us are not like that and I don’t think we should be represented by what we wear.”
The sisters still post on Instagram. In a recent post, they’re in sportswear, slouching in red lipstick. It’s captioned: “I don’t want feelings, I want new clothes.”
Oh well we love the way they style themselves, like this look below.
Want to recreate their look?
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