A M.A.C. makeup tutorial has gone viral, and it’s sparking a conversation about what Ramadan looks like around the world. First posted last week by the Instagram account for M.A.C. Middle East, the tutorial is entitled “Get Ready for Suhoor” and features makeup artist Mariam Khairallah glamming up a model for Suhoor, the predawn meal Muslims consume each day during Ramadan, a month of concentrated fasting and prayer. The day is then spent without food, until the fast breaks with Iftar, the meal eaten around sunset.
In the video, Khairallah creates a “glamorous gathering” look for Suhoor using eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara. As commenters pointed out, the tutorial is targeted toward the Middle East, where it’s more common to dress up for Suhoor.
American Muslims, on the other hand, responded on Twitter to laugh off the idea that they wear anything other than pajamas to a meal eaten before dawn. Some people have no plans to get glam for a religious feast:
Others pointed out that in Middle Eastern countries — where this region-specific MAC account is based — some Muslims do indeed dress up for Suhoor, and it’s not just a cultural difference, it’s a geographic one: In Dubai, as one commenter noted, Suhoor “starts at 9 pm and they go to a night out right after.” In other countries, the meal can take place in the middle of the night.
As HuffPost reports, some businesses in the Middle East also adjust their schedules to accommodate Ramadan. “It’s almost impossible to believe, but glamming up in the Gulf for your pre-fast meal at 2am is a thing,” Aisha Gani wrote on Twitter.
She contends that the controversy has more to do with misunderstandings and differences in how Ramadan is celebrated. “Judging by the reaction to the ‘Get Ready For Suhoor’ ad, I will totally live-tweet the next Suhoor event I go to because there is so little insight into it, particularly if you’re a Muslim from the West,” she wrote.
In response to Teen Vogue‘s request for comment, the brand offered the following statement: “At M.A.C., our global fans are a constant source of inspiration. This video was inspired by Suhoor customs in the Gulf Cooperation Council — GCC where during Ramadan friends and family often gather socially. In this context, we wanted to support our fans by providing makeup looks celebrating the beauty of Ramadan.”
More on being Muslim:
- Observing Ramadan Means So Much More to Me Than Just Fasting
- How a Quarter-Life-Crisis Trip to Bali Reminded Me of the Power of Ramadan
- Muslim Model Halima Aden Stars In Her First Big Campaign
Model Halima Aden in action: