Madinat al-Muslimeen Community
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Apr 18, 2014 04:06 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but a day of judgement.
 


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Modernizing Modesty: the Hijab and Body Image  (Read 1964 times)
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« on: May 17, 2012 04:52 AM »


Interesting points she has... what do you sisters think? --J.


======================================
Modernizing Modesty: the Hijab and Body Image


Recent trends in Hijab fashion modernize a form of modest dress once defined by local traditions. In seeking self-expression, however, Muslim women find themselves targeted by a media industry with its own taste for female objectification.

“It’s two-sided,” says Aisha Ahmad, 30, a health care administrator from Ft. Lauderdale. “On the one hand, it’s nice to see that we can achieve a 'high fashion' look while still wearing hijab. On the other hand, it puts you right back in the same place. ... Not all of us look like these models, nor will we ever look the way they do."

Hijab refers to modest dress in general and head-covering in particular. The Islamic requirement is to loosely cover all but the face, hands and feet, avoiding sheer angles and revealing little of the body. Across the world, local variations on this theme prevail: the long Abaya gowns of the Gulf region, the Jilbab in Syria and Jordan, and the Burqa in Afghanistan. In Iran, there is the Chador.

But as new generations of Muslim women came of age, they found ways for hijab to complement, rather than stymie, a growing desire for self-expression. And with them came a new breed of designer and entrepreneur—many of them women—whose specialization in “hijab fashion” came to prominence in the mid-2000s.

As a result, muslim women now have more to choose from, with mainstream retailers producing maxi dresses and maxi skirts which Muslim women adore: long and loose and perfectly in line with the latest trends. It's even made modestly itself fashionable: able to express themselves creatively with it, more Muslim women now say they do or want to wear hijab.

Designing and selling clothing that breaks the stereotype of drab Muslim clothing, however, has a tricky side.

Turkey, one of the first Islamic countries to have “hijab fashion shows”, fills the catwalks with models in from nearby European countries. Marketing often highlights a peculiar combination of physical attributes all-too familiar to Western fashionistas and critics alike. Advertising targets a nascent market from every glowing screen.

In an ironic twist, Hijab-wearing Muslim women are falling prey to the same thing their choice of garb ostensibly protects them from: a relentless bombar of distorted female body images.

"I feel that women may be encouraging it.,” said Inaya Shujaat, who converted to Islam more than 12 years ago. “When we have female celebrities whose only accomplishments are being hot or gorgeous, I wonder what sort of message that sends. We are living in the post Women's Liberation era, yet I feel that women are being portrayed in a more negative way today.”

Shujaat likes the idea of hijab fashion, but takes issue with the polarizing choice, between the new and the old, which has emerged.

"I don't like that it seems to be appropriate only for one particular age group and dress size,” Shujaat said. “I am a 36 year old mother of two. I do not wish to dress like a 21 year old college student, nor do I have the body of a 21 year old college student. Hijab fashion needs to be all-inclusive, bearing in mind that Muslim women come in many shapes, sizes, ages, etc. It really irritates me that I basically have two choices when it comes to hijab fashion: ethnic, or trendy. There is no in-between."

Like Ahmad, Woro Hapsari sees benefits both in hijab fashion and Muslim women flexing their marketing muscle. Moreover, Hapsari, who works for Nokia Siemens Networks in Indonesia, said she doesn't necessarily feel like she has to live up to the image set by models: “Yes it affects me, but not as much now since I wear a hijab. You can say that now those models influence me to look healthy and to dress nicely but still in modesty.”

As the whirlwind of fashion marketing grows, however, so does a new pressure to conform.

“I often struggle to find that balance in my work attire when I compare my look to what I see on TV, print ads, and in the stores,” Ahmad said. “Being pretty and thinner than I am are always on my mind. Whether I want to admit or not, I take cues from what I see in the media as what I should look like and then find myself buying accessories to look like what I see in the media.”

In particular, Muslim women say the use of tall caucasian models to market fashionable hijab is misleading: the products look amazing on the clothes horses, and less so on average women. Plus ca change.

"Instead of making women feel proud of their Muslim identity they make women feel like they should try to imitate and look like the these models,” said Sarah Gil, a 20 year-old fashion, marketing and design student in Bogota, Columbia.

Gil decided to wear hijab as a way to honor her Muslim identity and to escape the “scrutiny” of other women.

While encouraged by the choice and satisfied with her “hijabi skin”, she still feels critical of herself and fears that it's not enough to protect her from the relentless marketing of body images: “I think the media portrays women as nothing more than a tool to draw attention … there is nothing positive about that.”

Jana Kosaibati, hijab fashion blogger and medical student, said these companies are simply trying to live up to the standards of advertising that mainstream companies use, because they feel consumers want that.

“Even within the hijab and Islamic fashion market, there is a large variation in the type of advertising they use,” Kosaibati said. “Many will not show models' faces, and some won't even use models at all. If a company chooses to use glammed-up models, I don't think this is misleading. Most consumers are savvy enough to look beyond the adverts.”

Kosaibati added, though, that it would be refreshing to see more effective, creative advertising that did not simply look like glossy magazines with the addition of headscarves: “hijab fashion companies have a great opportunity here to showcase women of different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages, if they do choose to use models. … they [could] make their clothing feel a lot more accessible and wearable for all women, and this helps to counteract the negative messages that mainstream advertising may be sending out."

Whether from a secular or religious standpoint, women in Islamic culture are finding that self-expression comes hand-in-hand with how their bodies are represented in the media and by the international fashion industry. While it's good to see more options for Muslim women who want to dress modestly, I've concluded that as long as we put our beauty and bodies first, we will never be happy.

That said, it would be refreshing to see more professional models who look more like the rest of us. After all, we are the ones buying the stuff.


http://boingboing.net/2012/05/11/modernizing-modesty-the-hijab.html
austmuslimah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 10
austmuslimah has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 386



« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012 09:02 AM »

I think hijabi or not .... self-image issues is a global issue.

I think the area you highlighted is a good point. Its always good to dress your age, with as much or as little fashion as you like.

 I also think that a lot of the fashions are not very practical for work, they seem to be perfect for a dinner or going out, but wearing heavy jewelry and layers just isnt all that practical for everyday wear. Id like to see more practical fashion.
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012 05:39 PM »

True about self image austmuslimah. Have you seen the huge firestorm that is going on in India right now about Aishwariya Rai. People are so upset and criticizing her for not going back to a size 0 immediately after giving birth!!

I think some hijabi fashion is really cute but usually veryyy expensive and hard to get ahold of. Also, like too heavy for walking and doing active stuff. Even shopping in like a heavy black jilbab?? I think it's easier to just go to H&M or Forever21 and try to find adaptable clothes! But true we're dressing like a 21 year old then! Wink
 
austmuslimah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 10
austmuslimah has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 386



« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012 10:56 PM »

reallyyy i didnt even know she was pregnant let alone gave birth!! haha shows you im so out of touch!

hijabi fashion is expensive, and not very practical lol.... to meavy heavy equals too hot to wear

try zara, saba, or cue and they have really really nice modest clothing !
peace
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 21
peace barely matters :(peace barely matters :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 315



« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012 10:27 AM »

I had stopped wearing the abaya when my daughter was there bc it was getting tight and revealing my belly and switched to large dupattas and head stole instead. Now that she is 4 mnths old i went to buy a black burqa. At the shop the mannequins drapped in diff. styles of abayas and burqas were all of 36-24-36. Then it took me 3 trials of burqas to convey teh shopkeeper what i mean by loose!
In that shop my eyes also opened to the fact   that hijab can be very fashionable. But then again as pointed out in the article there is a very very thin line between doing hijabi fashion and slipping away from the very purpose of hijab. I think just those girls with ultra slim figures can afford to stand on that line.
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012 05:32 PM »

austmuslimah Zara!! girl u have deep pockets lol... i'll stick to H&M but yes I do think we can find modest things in regular stores although it takes more work and the right season

azeen yes i do believe there's a line and it's interesting about the purpose of hijab... is it to cover us from head to toe in black and like de-feminize us? or is it to keep everything modest - clothes, actions and behavior?


BTW the article on Aishwariya: Aishwarya Rai's post-baby body forces India to confront its attitude to women http://gu.com/p/37hpd/tw via @guardian

It's true she was gorgeous in her younger modeling days but why isn't she still beautiful today as a wife and mother?


Riat8883
Ramadan Diaries
Full Member
*

Reputation Power: 25
Riat8883 barely matters :(Riat8883 barely matters :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 206


« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012 06:08 PM »

Buying a new Abaya in my country is very expensive that most of the people cant afford it. If one wants then we just go for second hand. I believe as long as what your wearing serves the purpose of hijab then its ok, but alittle fashion won't do any harm. 
austmuslimah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 10
austmuslimah has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 386



« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012 09:10 AM »

hahaha no sis j, i dont have deep pockets! i do a lot of window shopping and very little buying.

and i always thought aishwariya rai was really pretty, but its a bit mean to condemn her for not losing weight enough. ahh well, what can you do.

and yes, abayas can be so expensive!
Baji
Sis
Full Member
*

Reputation Power: 33
Baji is working their way up :)Baji is working their way up :)Baji is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 175



« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012 01:36 PM »

I was fortunate enough to be able to shop in Jeddah earlier in the year.... where abayas range from eye watering £1000's to £10

Maybe on my next trip i should take all your sizes and see what i can find....

My fav one this time was a traditional wrap around but with poppers inside and out so doesn't flap open and it was only £11!!! Alhamdulillah.

I don't think hijab means wearing just plain black and there is no harm in colours or styles in my opinion as long as you are modest. often times modesty is more from within than from what you are wearing.

Baji x
 thobesis
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012 05:19 AM »

Quote
often times modesty is more from within than from what you are wearing.

such a good point sis Smiley


austmuslimah i kind of like that aish's not losing weight... it's her body!! why should she make herself an object for other ppl!
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  




Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
GirlyMan Theme by Aku