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This will be a short blog post about my feelings regarding the fashion box, that I and many others are placed in.
As a Muslim woman, I have tried to wear all manner of head covering not just the traditional hijab such as a khimar, a turban style hijab, a dupatta, a chador, and as of late I have been considering trying out the Niqābi style of the cover. “Hmm what is that, I think I hear the faint sounds of Islamophobic heads exploding right now”.
Recently, however, I have come to view the turban style hijab in a different way after being pressured to wear it to present myself as the “cool modern hijabi girl” as somehow this style seems to be viewed by some to be more acceptable, more palatable than a hijab niqab or burka.
Initially what had started this thought was the story of Halima Aden, other Muslim models, and my own Islamophobic experiences. In a few of my jobs I was expected to wear the turban that would sometimes make me a bit late as I had to use multiple pins and a hair ties and make sure I had all of my hair covered.
I was pressured a lot to wear it and to appear modern and cool and to wear what the new modern Muslim woman would wear, and that is sadly why have come to view the turban style as more socially acceptable and palatable than the Islamically traditional modest hijab.
My suggestions of just wearing a two-piece al Amira hijab for convince and more comfortable work attire that would not require pins nor hair ties was ignored all for the sake of looking “semi-normal and modern.” It may not be intentionally that way, it is how it comes off.
There were times where people would just call what I was wearing a niqab or a burka. When I was wearing a hijab and it is that box which has led me to just give up wanting to be the cool, stylish, modern Hijabi. No matter what we wear turban, niqab, burka, chador, we are all still Muslim woman who choose to cover our hair , we will still be viewed through Islamophobic, racist, xenophobic, and classist narrowed lenses. While I do still love turban styles that allow me to experiment with fashion, wear my quirky earrings and chokers. My own experiences and that of others has changed my mind a bit on them.