Can You Spot A Feminist Based On Looks Alone?

by Lara Rutherford-Morrison

This new video from comedy duo Shugs and Fats asks the question, “Can you know something about what somebody believes by looking at them?” Specifically, can you tell if someone is a feminist from his or her appearance? Partnered with the Moral Courage Project, the hijab-wearing Shugs and Fats roam the streets of New York City, talking to strangers about the assumptions they make based on the way people dress. When some people admit that to feeling justified in drawing conclusions about strangers’ spiritual and political beliefs based on their clothing, Shugs and Fats challenge, “When you look at someone like her [someone wearing a veil], do you believe she’s a feminist?” The video encourages viewers to question the assumptions they make about what feminists do and do not look like, and suggests that, just as a hijab doesn’t bar someone from being a feminist, stereotypes of what feminists do look like aren’t always accurate, either. Fats drops this essential truth bomb: “If you see a woman with hairy armpits, don’t make an assumption that she cares about women.”

Somehow this thought-provoking social commentary also manages to be really, really funny. Shugs and Fats are played by comedians Radhika Vaz and Nadia Manzoor, the creators, writers, and stars of the aptly titled web series Shugs & Fats. The series follows the antics of Shugufta and Fatima, “two Hijabis on a quest to reconcile their long held cultural beliefs with a new life in ‘liberated’ Brooklyn.” The show balances humor with cultural commentary, but always falls on the side of “hilarious.”

Seriously, I love these ladies so hard already. You can—and most definitely should—check out previous episodes on the Shugs & Fats website.

Image: YouTube