I have long debated whether or not I would ever consider wearing the Hijab. People, friends, family, coworkers, have all seen my hair. It has changed colors and lenght over the years: from blond, to black, to brown, to red and even some purple and pink, from mushroom cut to mid-chest lenght. I’ve done it all! My hair has always been a canvas for me to express my personality and my goals, from goth as a teenager, funky and cute as a first-year university student, to stylish professional in my last and now simple easy-fix feminine style. My hair has always been part of who I am and how I look. To cover it seemed unimagineable.
In the last year, I started thinking about it a little more. If the Hijab was to signify modesty, in which way should that be reflected in my personal life. I figured I would be more modest once I would have a husband. I somehow thought that the responsibilities of married life would transform me into a modest woman. Through marriage I would find purpose in modesty. I wouldn’t want other women looking at my husband so why should I let other men look at me. That was all swell and fine, but I am nowhere near getting married. I’ve only recently entered a relationship and I am not in any rush to tie the knot.
Seeing hijabi women everyday in the community, I wondered if there might be more to the Hijab than a simple sign of modesty. Being a convert, I figured people would pay attention to me less if I wore less fitted clothes and uncovered hair than if I chose to wore traditional middle eastern garments and a Hijab: those are not part of me or my culture, and they make me stand out and attract even more looks!
So I explored the vast virtual world and found out there are many types of Hijabs. Fashionable Hijabs! If the only purpose of a Hijab was modesty, than why would one want to “stand out” with a fashionable Hijab? That’s when I started to figure out that, of course, an aspect of Hijab-wearing was modesty, but another was identification. Women wanted to be identified as being Muslim women without losing their sense of identity as fashionable and beautiful. They were covered from head to toe but in a way that reflected their personality, their mood and their sense of style.
While I have still a long way to go before I decide to wear the Hijab all of the time, I have started experimenting with different styles for when I go to the mosque or when I spend time with trusted friends. It has been great to be easily identifiable as Muslim, without losing my identity first and foremost as a woman. In the next little while, I might start posting different styles of Hijabs I am particularly fond of. Meanwhile, let’s pray that my journey finds happiness and support from those around me so that I will feel comfortable wearing the Hijab on a daily basis!