I was born and raised Muslim. My Parents converted in the early 70’s and continue to practice Islam to this day.
As an adult, I too have chosen to practice this way of life and as a new Mom and Fashion Blogger, I find myself reflecting on what it means to be a Muslim woman and contributing Style aficionado in these days and times.
My style and individuality have come a long way. While I was raised to “Guard my modesty”, besides school (Muslim school) and Prayer (head covering required), my parents did not insist I cover my head during every outing. They were of the mind set that there is “no compulsion in Religion”, as the Q’uran clearly states, and that their efforts would be best served in teaching us how to come to our own conclusions on what’s best for our lives.
In hindsight, I appreciate that process but what a process it was. After attending a Muslim School in Queens NY grades K-8th, you can imagine my culture shock when I began attending a public High School. I started off wearing my Kemar, Arabic for head covering (Hijab more accurately refers to a very specific covering) but struggled to fit in as many children do and shortly after, the scarf came off. I changed clothes in bushes (Sorry Dad) and I desperately wanted to be like everyone else! I wanted to be liked and accepted. I didn’t want to explain why we lived, thought or believed differently.
Today that couldn’t be further from my desire. I couldn’t be more proud of finding my style and creative expressions while still honoring my beliefs and value systems.
It would be cool if pressures of peers and society ended in high school. I can’t tell you how many times I had to talk myself out of wearing something I felt “hot” in as a grown woman but went against my way of life. Truthfully, I’ve forced myself plenty of times to go through with a look well into adulthood and almost always regretted it. I’m never comfortable, I sit down, pull and tug all day and night. Smh
All of that to explain my story and how very excited and proud I am of the women spearheading the cuurent "Stylish Modesty" movement happening throughout the fashion world. It's hands down the Most amazing news! There’s no feeling like being disregarded and Muslim women have been disregarded in Fashion for far too long. Contrary to popular belief Modesty is not forced, for most It’s absolutely a choice. And just as women throughout the world wish to be respected for their choice to uncover, we wish to be respected for our choices. Also might I add, modesty is not a “Muslim thing” plenty of women of all faiths choose to be less revealing and should not have to compromise style to achieve that. The days of my Mother and combing the stores to find suitable attire are closing. The initiative to widen the market by specifically designing lines which target modest yet fashionable women is long overdue! Round of applause for the designers, retailers of course amazing Women leading the movement and taking names meanwhile!!!! If you're not already familiar check out some of Favs below!
and my Absolute Fav: Saufeeya Goodson @feeeeya
Being true to yourself comes with a price. I’m not quite modest enough for some Muslims and too modest for much of society. But you know what I am at this point in my life....? Comfortable being me! I dress myself with that intention everyday. I dress with the intention to honor my choices and integrity. And the days I fall short, I don’t feel so great, but the days I nail it... you can’t tell me NOTHIN!!! LOL (Kanye Voice)
Some may not understand, appreciate or agree... but there’s NO better feeling than doing You! Whatever you do, be true to what and who YOU are.
"Cuz if you ain’t who you are, then you are who you ain’t." -My Dad
Happy Jummah Fresh Friday!
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