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How Do You Like Your Eggs? by Banksy provoked plenty of conversation and debate on its meaning when it was exhibited at the Bristol Museum in 2009. In this controversial work, originally made in acrylic, a Muslim woman wearing a burqa is holding a pan with eggs that are sunny-side up, and is incongruously wearing an apron with an hour-glassed female body covered in skimpy lingerie. This work by Banksy has inspired countless interpretations.
In this work, as in others, Banksy challenges gender norms in society. The burqa symbolizes the repression of women in Muslim societies. On the other hand, the pan with the fried eggs, so commonly eaten for breakfast in the Western world, and the sexually provocative apron with Western lingerie invite reflection on the repression of women in the West. In the West, women were traditionally expected to cook and clean in the house and forgo career aspirations, and this is still the case in much of the world. In both cultures, especially in the Muslim world, women are expected to refrain from openly expressing their sexuality. The apron thus reveals the hidden desire of many women, in the East and West, to free themselves of the constraints on their sexuality which are generally not imposed on men.