By HIBBA MAHMUD
March 8, 2017
“With the power of social media, there has been numerous hijabi fashion bloggers who have transformed the image of hijab from oppressive to inclusive and trendy.”
The Muslim women’s hijab, as an image, has been seen in many different lights.
Islamically, a woman is obligated to cover her head and her ornaments. However, this is not something that can be forced onto someone and it is most definitely not a measure of how much faith one has or how practicing one is.
The hijab itself has become a political statement because of the many stereotypes associated with it. The hijab has been stigmatized as oppressive for women and is often associated with a submissive woman who is suffering from patriarchal abuse.
Because of the influence of the media, people tend to associate hijab with the various human rights violations and injustices that happen in Muslim majority countries.
However in recent years, a new image of hijab has been presented in the media. One that is more fashionable and deemed as “beautiful.” With the power of social media, there has been numerous hijabi fashion bloggers who have transformed the image of hijab from oppressive to inclusive and trendy.
This has made young Muslim girls feel less awkward and self conscious when wearing the hijab in a world where covering your hair is usually seen as unfashionable.
However, somewhere along the line of transforming the hijab’s stereotype, it has now become somewhat of a commodity. Entire lines of fashion are being produced and women’s careers are jump starting simply because they have a massive social media following and are able to make the hijab look trendy.
However, somewhere along the line of transforming the hijab’s stereotype, it has now become somewhat of a commodity.
Although these blogs are promoted as empowering Muslim women to feel beautiful and modest, we can’t say that these bloggers haven’t benefited from their title as a “Hijabi beauty blogger.”
Because of their social media presence, they were able to capitalize on the hijab and simply make a profit through their blogs and Instagram pages.
First and foremost, this is in no way a criticism of beauty bloggers and their careers. It is simply a question as to whether the meaning of hijab has been lost in order to look aesthetically pleasing to the rest of the world, normalized, fit a standard of beauty and to be marketed in a way where people financially benefit.
Due to the lucrative image of hijab on social media, hijab is now seen as a form of artwork.
Not doubting anyone’s intentions or insecurities, but when has the hijab become a trendy thing to do? Is the battle of inclusion radically changing our spiritual reasoning to aesthetic reasons or how to look better so the rest of the world doesn’t say you look bad with a hijab on?
Is the battle of inclusion radically changing our spiritual reasoning to aesthetic reasons or how to look better so the rest of the world doesn’t say you look bad with a hijab on?
Islamically, the hijab has a lot of meaning and it should be implemented in character as well, but the “hijabi fashion” following has placed a lot of emphasis on the scarf itself and its outward appearance and it has distanced itself from the character that should be present in all Muslims.
It also seems to be excluding of “non hijabis” as Muslims as well because they don’t wear the physical headscarf, but that doesn’t mean they are any less Muslim.
Creating a symbol of style out of the hijab and making it out to be something it never was (a societal standard of hijabi beauty?), is not something Islam ever promoted. In Islam, outward appearances are of no matter. Yes, a Muslim should be well dressed and presentable, but there really should be no pressure to follow a standard of fashion and style. That’s not what it’s about.
When Gigi Hadid posed for Vogue Arabia in the hijab, there was a lot of controversy surrounding her cover as people were upset that the hijab was appropriated as artwork rather than its actual symbolic meaning. Although many people praised her cover for representing Muslims in the media, she was scrutinized as well for changing the image of the hijab.
People were outraged because women who wear the hijab regularly can be labelled as oppressed and terrorists, whereas, she was seen as beautiful and artistic.
Gigi Hadid, along with the various hijabi beauty bloggers inadvertently capitalized on the hijab making it a commodity.
There is no doubt that hijabi beauty bloggers have made a positive impact on their followers because they are empowering girls to feel confident in their hijab and less self conscious. They have every right to publicize what they want and post whatever they want, however we cannot deny that the hijab is now becoming normalized as a trend and a fashion which may deviate people from the spiritual meaning behind it.
While women should feel beautiful and confident in it, they should know that the hijab is not a trend or a fad and there is a lot of religious and spiritual meaning behind the hijab which should also be promoted along with the fashionable aspect of it.
We shouldn’t aspire to be like someone just because they look pretty in the hijab but also the intellect and the mind which encompasses that hijab.
People should know that it is more than just a scarf and not only a piece of art that will help you look more stylish to society if you tie it the right way.