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Bedlah Babe

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Her part of the world is known for its modest clothing.

The bedlah (which simply means "suit" in Arabic) is an Arabian-influenced belly dancing costume which was actually popularized by English artists in the 19th century, but became so closely associated with belly dancing that it was adopted by real-life dancers.

Bedlah costumes will vary depending on the work, but there is a general emphasis on showing skin. A bare midriff is more or less essential; a low neckline (sometimes impossibly so) is optional. Many variations include large amounts of sheer material, generally to display the legs as well. The bottoms might be "harem pants" instead of a skirt or wrap. Sometimes the outfit will be topped off with a little veil that covers the lower half of the face.

Today, the bedlah has become the standard costume for female characters in "Arabian Nights" Days, from princesses to female genies (witness how many fancy dress companies manufacture costumes of this type with names like "Arabian Nights Woman", or see the results that come up if you do an image search on "Arabian princess"). This is an example of Artistic License – History in the name of Fanservice: even leaving aside the fact that the costume is mostly codified by Western artists, it would logically only be worn by belly dancers and perhaps harem girls. Dressing an Arabian princess like this is rather like dressing a European princess as a go-go dancer.

Please note that, if the belly dancing outfit is being worn by a character who is actually a belly dancer, then it's an example of the Belly Dancer trope. This trope is primarily for works which portray the bedlah as everyday dress for Arabian women. For the other stereotypical clothing associated with Middle-Eastern women, see Hiding in a Hijab.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Dorabian Nights, an "Arabian Nights" Days episode of the Doraemon movies, had the gang finding themselves in Sinbad's palace and getting new outfits. Shizuka notably gets a bedlah babe dress, which the boys comments "it makes her look like an Arab princess".
  • Briar and Libra in Fairy Tail.
    • Lucy also wore an Arabian Bedlah before her battle with Byro, all thanks to a magical box conveniently filled with common fantasy clothing. Though the outfit she wore during her battle could qualify as a bedlah as well.
    • Juvia is shown wearing a bedlah on the cover for chapter 158 in the manga. Although, given the conveniently placed lamp right next to her, there may be a little more to her situation.
    • Jenny Realight seems to be wearing a dancing costume while pole dancing on the cover for chapter 464 in the manga.
    • Levy wears a bedlah on the cover for chapter 487.
  • The setting of Blue Ramun is a fantasy "Arabian Nights" Days desert empire, but it isn't until the end of the series that readers get to see protagonist Jessie in such a suit. In Eagle's poison-induced fever dream, Jessie appears before him in a beautiful outfit consisting of a short top, a scarf-skirt, a beaded, veiled headdress, and lots of jewelry to heal him with a bloodied kiss.
  • One Piece: Vivi and Nami dress like this while laying low in Alabasta. Not that it was their idea; they put Sanji in charge of finding disguises for the group, and naturally he picked these for the girls.

    Comic Books 
  • In Alan Ford, during an Arabian Nights-themed dream induced by the Ring of Inshallah, Alonisius is approached by a buxom Belly Dancer in a dark bedlah, complete with a face-covering veil, who guides him through the dream to show him the gemstone he can reclaim from a museum with the ring. When you learn that the dream was actually a magically-induced hallucination, you realize this trope was probably Invoked to persuade Alonisius better.
  • The outfit worn by Princess Orinjade in Asterix and the Magic Carpet is probably meant to invoke this trope, as the comic is based heavily around "Arabian Nights" Days iconography. However, the story takes place in India, so there is more justification than usual as Indian women do have a history of wearing midriff-baring saris.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Zara evokes the trope for her scam priestess costume, which is essentially a metal bra, harem pants and lots of jewelry.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Artemis, who is from Egypt, commonly wears sheer harem pants with a cross wrap halter top and gold jewelry.
  • Xanadu is a Furry comic where one of the female lead characters is Fatima, a lovely vixen who resembles nothing so much as Disney's Robin Hood (1973)'s Maid Marian in that kind of outfit with a curvier figure.

    Fan Works 
  • [Warning: NSFW] A short doujin titled "Fortune Lovers" features a professional fortune teller who, upon coincidentally finding her old high school love interest, leaves her business card in his mailbox — and when he arrives looking for some guidance, she greets him dressed in a really skimpy bedlah and a veil that, at least initially, hides her identity. It goes as you expect it to. It's left unclear whether her outfit, and the accompanying Arabian Nights mystical huggermugger and decorations lying around, are strictly for seducing him, or if it's just the style and ambiance she prefers for her business; that's a lot of effort just for one guy.
  • In the Invader Zim fanfic Gaz Dreams of Genie, the genie Azie is described as being dressed like this, which she refers to as "a silk two piece and see through pants". Apparently wearing it is a required part of being genie as when Azie and Gaz switch lives, Gaz is stuck wearing the same outfit.
  • In Ah, Ataru's Goddess, Belldandy, Shinobu and Lum are forced into these when they join Ataru's harem.

    Films — Animation 
  • Princess Jasmine in Aladdin is possibly the single most famous bedlah-wearer, in the harem pants and the little off-the-shoulder belly top. Jafar dresses her up in an even skimpier red version when he enslaves her. Additionally there are three girls frequently seen from the top of a balcony — all of whom wear this costume. As well as some harem girls Genie conjures up during the "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" songs.
  • The Chipettes in The Chipmunk Adventure wear this outfit when meeting with the Prince of an imaginary Arabian kingdom.
  • Princess Yum-Yum from The Thief and the Cobbler manages to make the look even more Stripperiffic with a sheer veil over her mouth.
  • The princess in the feature-length Mr. Magoo cartoon 1001 Arabian Nights (despite its title, actually a retelling of Aladdin) wears much the same top as her Disney counterpart from a few decades later, although her dress is longer and closer to the traditional European-style fairy tale princess.
  • Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights: The harem girls in the Young Caliph's palace are examples of this. They seem to lounge about all day in the palace rather than do any actual dancing.
  • Velma dresses up as a harem girl for a costume party in Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy!.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Anthony Adverse, Carlo Cibo has a dancer in Bedlah Babe gear in his mansion for a dinner, despite the fact that 1) it's the first decade of the 19th century and 2) the scene is set in Havana.
  • This has appeared in several James Bond movies.
    • Octopussy. Some of Octopussy's female minions dress like this during the infiltration/attack against an enemy stronghold. Somewhat justified in that they're circus performers wearing their costumes, but it doesn't explain why they're dressed that way for a surprise attack on the villain's base, although a few of them use it as a Show Some Leg gambit to distract the guards..
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: The lover of one of Scaramanga's targets, whom Bond tracks down to find Scaramanga. This one is justified, because she is a belly dancer.
    • The Spy Who Loved Me. The harem girls who work for Bond's friend Hosein wear this garb.
  • Caroline Munro's character in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is a justified example, as she is a slave girl.
  • Maria Montez's outfit in the 1942 film Arabian Nights is a relatively tame example.
  • The 1938 short "Wee Wee Monsieur" starring The Three Stooges has the stooges infiltrating an Arabian/Berber palace to rescue an officer, Captain Gorgonzola. Once inside, they encounter several harem girls dressed in belly dance outfits.
  • This trope dates at least as far back as Two Arabian Knights (1927), in which the very white Mary Astor plays an Arab princess in the stereotypical outfit.
  • Yasmin is dressed this way throughout The Son of the Sheik, but in fairness, she actually does work as a belly dancer.
  • All the dancers that entertain Genghis Khan in The Conqueror are dressed this way, as is his betrothed Bortai when she shucks her wrap and decides to do a dance of her own. A particularly silly instance of this trope, since the film is set in central Asia, which is quite a long way from Arabia.
  • The Tibetan Honey Trap sent to seduce Arslan Taij in Tsogt Taij sheds her outer garments to reveal she is wearing the standard fancy-bra-and-harem-pants ensemble. A pretty surprising moment in the film, considering there was no Fanservice at all prior to that scene and Arslan's good girl Love Interest Khulan was fully clothed at all times.
  • In The Show the actress in a circus drama dresses like this to play Salome in a performance.
  • She: The opening scene finds Leo, Holly, and Job in a Cairo bar taking in some belly dancers.
  • Princess Zuleria dresses this way in the 1979 film Arabian Adventure.
  • A minor example occurs in The Abominable Dr. Phibes. The blue movie Dr. Longstreet is watching features a young woman dressed as an Arabian who is apparently planning to do something interesting with her Feather Boa Constrictor.
  • In Up the Chastity Belt, the Crusaders Club is filled with them, although many are wearing outfits more suited to a 70s go-go club than the Crusades.
  • In Against All Flags, the Princess Patma and her handmaidens are all dressed like this. Never mind that this is nothing like how the daughter of the Mughal Emperor (i.e. an Indian) should be dressed (not to mention that several of her handmaidens are blonde); Rule of Sexy is definitely in play.

  • The One-Gender Race of Amazons from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? are all tanned and dark-skinned women and wear revealing outfits inspired by belly dancers (resembling the Gerudo from The Legend of Zelda in both regards). Aisha is the most prominent example with her purple bedlah and see-through pants, and she has an Arabic name as a bonus. Ishtar, the goddess who employs (and enslaves) them, is not an Amazon herself but shares their appearance.
  • The outfit Ginger is wearing in Moving Pictures when filming the click Sworde of the Dessert is apparently this, although we don't get a full description because Victor is too embarassed to look clearly.
    Victor: You've got a navel in your diamond.
    Ginger: I've come to terms with that. It's these two saucepan lids that are giving me trouble.

    Live-Action TV 
  • King Tut, a recurring villain from the Batman (1966) 60s television series, had a few female henchmen who dressed like this.
  • An episode of Charmed did an "Arabian Nights" Days plot and this seems to be the default uniform for genies - as both Phoebe and the one-episode character Ginny wore these. Note that this is only for female genies. The male genie costume was a lot more modest.
  • The "Sleeping Beauty" episode of Faerie Tale Theatre featured a segment where the prince was seduced by a princess called Debbie - who wore this type of outfit.
  • Firefly: In the flashback episode "Out of Gas", Inara Serra, a high-class Companion (a mix between a courtesan and a geisha), is shown to be wearing a Middle East style outfit. She mostly wore clothes reminiscent of the Far East on the show.
  • Full House: In "Luck Be a Lady", the female attendants at the casino/hotel that the gang stays at are dressed in bedlahs.
  • The title character in I Dream of Jeannie may have played a major role in cementing this trope in North American popular culture. Her sister, Jeannie II, wears a green version of the outfit with a skirt in place of the harem pants. The episode "My Hero" also features a princess wearing this type of outfit - and hers is even more revealing than Jeannie's.
  • When Zelda of Sabrina the Teenage Witch finds a bottle to spend time in and conjures up a bedlah costume to go with the ambience.
    Hilda: And what is with the outfit?
  • Doctor Who: Played with, and lampshaded, in universe. In “The Feast of Steven,” an episode-long Big-Lipped Alligator Moment in the middle of the epic “Daleks Masterplan,” the TARDIS lands on a Hollywood film set in the silent era, where an Arabian Nights style adventure is being filmed. The First Doctor is mistaken for the expert in Arabic culture hired by the production, and a starlet in this costume eagerly introduces herself as playing the “Arab Princess.” The Doctor replies, "Nonsense! You put some more clothes on, child."


    Print Media 

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    Video Games 
  • Ramaya, one of the four heroines of the Middle-Eastern themed arcade brawler Arabian Fight, is an asskicking Bedlah babe.
  • The female characters wear these when in the Spell Fencer Job in Bravely Default.
  • Penelo wears this in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. Amusingly enough she was a dancer in the first game, where she didn't wear this costume.
  • Esther from Ni no Kuni also dresses this way (minus the curly shoes), since she's from the desert kingdom of Al Mamoon.
    • A couple of NPCs from Al Mamoon sell 'blanaba' splits while dressed as this.
  • One of the NPCs in the River King Casino stage from Skullgirls has this sort of costume.
  • The Gerudo typically dress like this in The Legend of Zelda. While they were shown wearing the traditional silk fabrics in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, they also have metal armor in the same pattern in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • In Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse, this is about half the female characters in the game (with the other half wearing things which are less revealing). Since the setting's "Arabian Nights" Days theme doesn't extend to its religion, the rules of Islamic Dress presumably aren't applied.
  • The Shieldbreaker in Darkest Dungeon wears a bedlah with a few scraps of armour while Dungeon Crawling. In her backstory, she used to be a Belly Dancer, but escaped in a coach accident and became an adventurer instead, relying on agility and her shield rather than heavy armour to survive (explaining why she's still wearing a modified bedlah, and why her HP isn't very good).
  • In The Sims 3, female Genies NPCs are dressed like this. It's also the default outfit of player controlled ones during character creation.
  • The Caster of the Nightless City in Fate/Grand Order is dressed this manner which is fitting when you consider that her true identity is Scheherazade from the Arabian Nights.
  • Shantae: The titular character wears a red colored bedlah as her normal outfit.
  • Splatoon 3's Frye has a slight bedlah motif to her design, with a bare midriff and poofy harem pants. It ties into her nature as a snake charmer (well, eel charmer).
  • Superior Soldiers, a fighting game revolving around warriors from different time periods fighting each other, have an asskicking bedlah chick named Arabian Moon as one of the playable characters.
  • In The Legend of Dark Witch, both Riva and Zizou respectively wear red and purple bedlah outfits as disguises (Riva due to her going King Incognito in her plan to steal the Old Islands' Syega, and Zizou due to her copying the former's disguise out of the mistaken assumption that that was what everyone wore there).

    Web Comics 
  • Ariel Val'Shargress and various other members of the cast happen to don these outfits fairly frequently in the Drowtales side comic known as "Slavemaster" in the Daydream Archive. Fair Warning though, said comic is definitely not safe for work. In fact the entire Slavemaster Storyline is about the efforts made by one yellow-eyed demon in building a Harem out of the cast of the main Drowtales Storyline.
    • Certain female Naga have been known to wear these outfits as well, even in the main archive which is generally work friendly.
    • And then of course there is Asira'malika Val'Jaal'darya. She is one of the Ill'haresses (Queens) of Chel'el'sussoloth (the Capital of the Drow Empire). Her entire wardrobe consists of nothing but different renditions of this outfit. She is the single most Fanservice oriented character in the main archive. And that's saying something. Especially since her eyes are quite the fandisservice
  • In El Goonish Shive, whenever anyone transforms into a female genie form they end up in this type of outfit. This applies even if they are transformed into a part animal form at the same time such as elephant.
  • Jeanie's signature costume in I Dream of a Jeanie Bottle is quintessential bedlah attire. It's essentially a less complex version of Barbara Eden's costume in I Dream of Jeannie (In-Universe, this is because Jeanie's Shapeshifter Default Form is inspired by what she expects genies to look like. Since she's a fan of I Dream of Jeannie, her concept of what genies look like is very much inspired by Jeannie). Araceli wears a similar costume.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues: The Djinn from the segment "How the Camel Got His Hump" in the episode "Work". (There's also a couple in the same segment, fanning the Man who the Horse, the Dog, and the Ox encountered.)
  • Aladdin: The Series: In addition to the aforementioned Jasmine, the female genie Eden also wears an outfit like this.
  • The Archie Show: In the episode "Veronica's Veil", Veronica disguises herself as a "Niluvian" transfer student due to Archie and Reggie paying more attention to Betty.
  • In part 2 of the 3-parter Bruno the Kid episode called "Bye Bye Jarly", when Bruno and Harris are in a cafe trying to find Couscous, they meet a harem girl known as Popic, and Bruno asks her where he is.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids: Double Trouble
  • Danny Phantom: The ghost genie Desiree is a very good example of a Bedlah Babe. Before her death, she was one of the most beautiful girls inside a sultan's harem and was promised her own kingdom until the Sultan's jealous wife banished her. Even after her death, she still retains the same costume, albeit with a teal coloring instead of her previous purple color scheme.
  • The Andrews Sisters who were with Charlie McCarthy in the Donald Duck short called "The Autograph Hound".
  • Walt Disney's Disneyland: A scene in the episode called "The Adventure Story" where Uncle Joe while walking encounters a harem girl. (Only their legs and feet are shown)
  • An episode of Doug called "Night of the Living Dougs" featured Patti dressed in a bedlah babe outfit similar to that worn by Barbara Eden's Jeannie.
  • Duck Dodgers: Queen Tyr'ahnee, by a long shot. Her normal attire could easily mistake for a court dancer of her own empire.
  • DuckTales (1987): Some are shown in "Sphinx for the Memories" and "Masters of the Djinni"
  • The Fairy Idol special from The Fairly OddParents! featured two genie girls in bedlahs.
  • The Flintstones:
    • In "Royal Rubble", Barney is mistaken for the long-lost prince of Rockarabia. As he slowly gets accustomed to his new lifestyle, he is then told that he must pick eligible women for his harem, and gets easily intimidated when hundreds of harem girls rush to him to be picked.
    • In "How to Pick a Fight with your Wife without Really Trying", Wilma's dream involves herself being a harem wife for Fred, and she gets rejected for other harem girls.
  • Goldie Gold dresses up as one in the Goldie Gold and Action Jack episode called "The Return of the Man Beast"
  • Goofy dreams about having a harem of girls in the Goofy short called "How to Be a Sailor".
  • The Great Grape Ape: In the episode "Ali Beagle and the Forty Thieves", a harem girl is shown at Ali Ben Ali's Rent-A-Carpet.
  • In the Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats episode called "Harem Cat", Cleo is dressed up as one.
  • Hanna Barbera's Jeannie:
    • The titular character.
    • In the episode called "The Commercial", Miss Twisty Taffy (Lauri Lolly) dresses up as a harem girl.
  • Johnny Bravo
    • The Genie from "I Dream of Johnny"
    • Some featured in an episode called "The Prince and the Pinhead".
    • Others featured in an episode called "Hail to the Chump".
  • In a Jonny Quest episode called "Nightmares of Steel", Johnny and the gang are in a tent filled with sheiks and harem girls.
  • The animated version of Laverne & Shirley naturally featured this kind of outfit in "Meanie Genie."
  • The mouse princess in a Mighty Mouse cartoon called "Aladdin's Lamp".
  • Olive dressed as such in the Popeye cartoon called "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp"
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • In an episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo called "When You Witch Upon a Star", Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, and Scrappy dressed themselves up as harem girls.
    • In an episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo? called "Mummy Scares Best", a waitress is shown walking dressed like that as Mademoiselle Chantal is presenting Daphne and Velma as bellydancers.
      • In another episode called "E-Scream", somewhere you can see a woman dressed like that.
  • Private Snafu: Snafu stumbles on to a harem full of these in "Booby Traps". Of course, the whole thing turns out to be one giant booby trap.
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series:
    • In "Molar Molar", one of the beachgoers is a female genie with this type of outfit.
    • Sabrina dresses up as one in the Sabrina's Secret Life episode "J'Achoo".
  • In the Samurai Jack episode, "Jack and the Warrior Woman" a pink skinned alien belly dancer is presented before Jack, as well as a male alien belly dancer for Ikra.
  • Vana Glama dresses up as one in the Sidekick episode "The Show Must Go On".
  • Snooper and Blabber: The titular characters meet Sheherazade in the episode "Eenie Genie Minie Mo".
  • Shown at the beginning of the The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode "The Star of Bombay".
  • TaleSpin: A harem girl is shown at the end of the episode "For Whom the Bell Klangs (Part Two)".
  • Tom & Jerry Kids: Princess Scheherazade from "Tres Sheik Poodles".
  • Princess Scheherazade: French animated television series with the titular character being Princess Scheherazade.
  • In the Totally Spies! episode "Aliens", the girls dressed themselves in Arab outfits.
    • Also in "Queen for a Day", where Clover was in disguise as the queen, and Sam and Alex were dressed as servants.
  • Julie in the "desert" episodes of The Twins of Destiny (Les Jumeaux du Bout du Monde) such as "Danger in the Desert" and "Desert Adventure".
  • Miss X from the Walter Lantz cartoon called "Abou Ben Boogie" and/or "The Greatest Man in Siam".