Why I Am Hijabi

Society told a woman to show her body and the fashion industry enforced an image on her with rules of styles that come and go. But a modest woman interjects in protest and casts an alternative image of a woman that adheres to eternal values rather than the whims of the latest trend. “I wasn’t religious until I wanted to understand how a woman
should look rather than how a woman should be,” said Yasmine, a Muslim student who proudly wears hijabs that are draped with the elegance of a Renaissance painting.

 

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Drapery of the Erythraean Sibyl, 1508-12

For Yasmine, wearing the hijab is an extension of controlling the image she presents to the world that communicates how she expects to be treated. “Your body is not supposed to be sexualized, and you should not want it to be,”  she said.

After she experienced tough breakups in her junior year of high school Yasmine recognized that the path she found herself upon was hollow and riddled with falsehoods.  Subsequently, she made a vow to not to date; “If you attract attention you will eventually attract bad company,” she said.

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At the time she wasn’t privy to where she would end up or the answers that would be sent to her. Yasmine did not grow up wearing the hijab; her mother, sister, and most of her extended family do not wear it. Some of her family tried to convince her not to wear it, yet Yasmine found strength in chasing after modesty.

Now at the age of 21 and a senior in college Yasmine has maintained her vow since those tumultuous days. Her former self of her junior year in high school has been replaced by a crafted identity she has tailored according to her values as a modern religious woman.

 

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“Modesty is not just about how you dress but also how you carry yourself and how you live your life,” she said. Through seeking modesty Yasmine has found contentment that healed former vacancies. Some are left open; alike with many college students she has not yet uncovered all of the answers. Sometimes she still feels enormous voids which call back old wounds as an echo of her previous life. With God on her side and a career of being a middle-school teacher ahead, Yasmine’s hijabs of black, blue, red, and teal, are merely the outward expression of the truth and the identity she has grabbed onto with the strength from climbing mountains of her adolescence.