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Circuits of VisibilityGender and Transnational Media Cultures$
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Radha S. Hegde

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814737309

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814737309.001.0001

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Seeing Princess Salma

Seeing Princess Salma

Transparency and Transnational Intimacies

(p.21) 1 Seeing Princess Salma
Circuits of Visibility

Susan Ossman

NYU Press

This chapter asks how certain regimes of gendered visibility dictate the publicizing of the nation and its leadership. It follows the media journey of Salma Bennani, who became the first publicly recognized wife to a Moroccan king in 2002. Princess Salma's appearance in royal family photos on the event of her marriage to the young King Mohammed VI pointed to the absence of the figure of the king's wife during the reigns of previous Moroccan kings. Thus, one might interpret King Mohammed VI's introduction of the first royal wife to the national and international arena as indicating his willingness to become more like other world leaders, whose wives act as both accessories and spokeswomen for their husbands. In so doing, he plays not only on increasingly global norms of the family but also with the very ways in which tropes of progress and modernity have been associated with the increased transparency and visibility of women's bodies.

Keywords:   gendered visibility, Salma Bennani, King Mohammed VI, modernity, family norms

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