by Sara Haque, Staff Writer
I am sure we have all seen the lovely ladies who cover their hair and dress modestly around campus. These ladies, as well as myself, wear the Muslim headscarf called the hijab. The reason we cover has a beautiful message behind it. Muslim women cover to not only humble themselves and not catch the eye of men but also to truly show their potential. By dressing modestly, there is nothing distracting, and the true personality as well as character can shine.
Recently in the news, there has been controversy over a Tunisian woman who openly posted a photo of herself naked on a social media website. Being a strictly Muslim country, this Tunisian woman had to face some consequences. This issue caught the eye of the Ukrainian based protest
group, FEMEN. This group of active feminists wanted to stand up for the Tunisian woman as well as those they saw as oppressed. They posted photographs of themselves naked with racy slurs such as “I am Free” and “F*ck your morals” written on their bodies.
This protest has caused uproar amongst not only Muslim women but also people of all races and religions globally. The members of FEMEN believe that Muslim women are forced to cover. In reality, we choose to cover for the sake of our religion and our morals. This is not a decision anyone makes for us and this is not something that hinders our expression. Dressing modestly does not have to be boring; there are many ways to be a covered fashionista.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to help with an upcoming project that is making history. Getting the attention from the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and many other publications, The American Hijab Design Contest is calling out all American modesty-loving fashionistas to show that covering your hair and dressing modestly is as American as apple pie. Participants are called upon to make maximum investments of creativity, and entries are judged for creativity, ‘American feel’, and potential for popularity. Religion and culture do not have to be polar elements and this contest does a great job of showing that everyone has a place in society and our uniqueness is what ultimately helps us thrive in it.
This contest has an amazing line up of judges to determine the winner of the design section as well as the styling. From a New York Fashion Week designer, America’s Next Top Model judge, a Grammy winner as well as a professor at #1 Design Program, these judges are looking for a design that screams American culture.
It is projects like these that can really open the eyes of people’s perspective on hijab. There are many hijab fashion bloggers, designers and vloggers who show that covering is not necessarily a bad thing. Dressing modestly is a way of expressing yourself and letting your inner beauty excel.