TV Series - Aug 29, 2022
Chanel Ayan of The Real Housewives of Dubai opened up about a horrific experience she endured as a child. The Bravo star detailed undergoing forced genital mutilation at age five to keep her virginity until marriage during the Wednesday, August 17, episode.
After revealing her childhood trauma in the series, Ayan, who is of Somali and Ethiopian descent, explained that she is a survivor. My culture and my family betrayed me utterly. Using young girls for this kind of barbaric practice is just wrong."
“ It happened to me 35 years ago, and I've never forgotten it," the supermodel explained about the procedure, which took place at a stranger's house where they "sewed" her and her sister's genitals together.
Ayan explained that it is done in her culture to keep women virgins. Everybody in my culture is a virgin because of this. How can you have sex if you're sewn as a girl until you get married? It keeps men happy." In telling her story, Ayan hopes to raise awareness about the heinous practice, which she says is still practiced today.
Over 28 African countries are practicing this, as well as the Middle East, Syria, and Yemen," she added. "Even in America, cousins and family still do it behind the scenes, because you don't need a doctor. It's just a matter of knowing how."
Our families don't talk about such things, it's kind of kept quiet," Ayan said. Ayan explained that she felt as if she was taking power away from the people who had done this to her because she was only five years old and had no idea what was happening to her.
Despite the trauma it caused, the founder of Ayan Beauty knows she must speak out. "I just want to raise awareness about it as much as possible since it's still happening 35 years later. Every 11 minutes a little girl is as confused as I was," she said.