I was on Facebook and magazine Volup2 had posted an article about hijabi fashionistas. Of course some idiots in the comments had leapt straight into hate territory (referencing Sharia law, repression of women, being islamophobic etc)
That’s not been my experience, I have plenty of friends and colleagues who are Muslim and incredibly stylish, some of whom cover up more than others.
These women have made choices about their level of coverage, their interpretation of modest dress. Some have gone from merely wearing long sleeves and floor length skirts or trousers to the hijab and more. All by their own choice.
These ladies have scarf collections to die for, beautiful colours, patterns and designer. Just gorgeous. They coordinate their outfits so beautifully too. I wish I had that level of colour combination skill.
Even the ones who choose to wear a burqa over their clothes are often well dressed underneath. It seems like quite a practical garment too. And it’s a personal preference.
All three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have instructions to dress modestly, but like most religious texts these rules are open to interpretation. If you go to Rome and want to go into a church, your shoulders and knees must be covered, it’s the same in most of Europe and Russia.
Women used to wear hats to church and some still have dress codes. My aunt’s church is quite strict, whereas my mum’s is a lot more relaxed in terms of what you wear on Sunday.
There are similar circumstances in most synagogues, heads must be covered, modest, smart dress is preferred. Some Jewish communities adhere to these rules all the time, others are more relaxed.
I’m sure other religions have dictates about dress, either specifically for worship or for everyday.
So why shouldn’t women who wear a hijab or who cover themselves dress well? Where does it say they can’t enjoy clothes and make up? Yes some countries have strict, enforceable dress codes, but they tend to be in the minority.
These hijabi fashionistas are inspiring younger women who might be worried that wearing the hijab is frumpy or means they have to give up their love of clothes in order to be closer to their faith. They also look amazing. All women should support each other regardless of faith, culture or ethnicity.
If you see someone looking amazing or wearing cute shoes or a fabulous top – tell her. Say ‘I love your shoes’ or ‘you look amazing’, smile, make someone’s day. The world is a cruel, cold place without us pulling each other down or making assumptions without knowing someone first.