Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hijab and Updates on Life

I’ve been meaning to write a few posts, but I’m waiting for the right thoughts in my mind to coalesce:

  • Good Hijabi vs. BadAss Hijabi
  • HijabZoned
    • A non-serious post on the difficulty of finding romance as a hijabi, based on friends (and maybe personal, haha, yeah right) experiences on being hijabzoned — I.e. being brushed aside in the undesirable “hijabi” or “too modest” category without being given a chance to express one’s individuality. You know you’re hijabzoned when he treats you differently than non-hijabis, with what he thinks is giving you more respect or, worse, when they come to you expecting you to validate their imaan (‘I prayed five times today!’). 
  • Hijab and Space II
  • Hijab and Beauty
    • Understanding the role of hijab in society. If the hijab’s purpose is to primarily be a method to control gender relations, then where does beauty stand in this? Are we really hiding our beauty by hiding our hair? Can beauty be more than physical appearance?
    • Probably would end up similar to this blog post
  • Hijab and Men
  • Hijab and Innocence II
    • A follow-up that attempts to answer the unanswered questions left in part I.

Anyway, this Thanksgiving break was the first time I ran into many members of my home community in a state of hijablessness. The feeling of normalcy that had been gained during my months of Penn was replaced with some embarrassment, guilt, and a little anxiety. There was an odd sense of shame that came with showing my hair in a room of people, who all had their hair exposed, because they have known me since a child as a hijabi. I haven’t made a decision yet on the hijab, and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I’ve worn the hijab for over a decade, it’s kind of difficult to make a decision within a few months time.

Someone I know, who also at some point in time experimented with the hijab, perfectly sums up how I feel with hijab experimentation:

In terms of hijab, I really, really like being without it. And I kind of hate that feeling. But it feels like now all my actions don’t represent anything. They represent only me. Part of the reason I took it off was because I was beginning to feel strangled by metaphors. Like people (parents, friends, strangers) were seeing or hearing one thing and it would mean something bigger than it actually was. And not just regarding the hijab, but a lot of other little things too. So taking it off was just a small step of being free of that feeling…. Unveiling is not inherently liberating but perhaps the meanings I, myself, had attached to the veil have now disappeared.

I did have a discussion with my Imam on the hijab and what it means in modern day society. I don’t want to share his words since they were meant for me personally, but knowing that I have a community available to me that has been supportive and not judgmental (I know from stories from friends that it’s quite common to be harassed for taking off the hijab) about it has been a great blessing. It is one of the things I recognized as something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.