On (Not) Living Up to the Hijab Tutorial Ideal

On (Not) Living Up to the Hijab Tutorial Ideal June 20, 2013

From a YazTheSpaz photoshoot. [Source].
It was after my marriage that I decided to wear a hijab in public. Like most others who are evolving on their hijab journey, I had my fears – my biggest one being that it was going to make me look horrendous. After all my hair was my best feature.

To help me on my hijab journey, one of my friends suggested that I look for hijab tutorials, online, so I started googling. This “easy” hijab tutorial told me that to cover my hair and to look good while doing it, I will have to take a piece of cloth, twist it turn it, then “hide the excess,” and finally give it a twirl. Then get a necklace and put it on my hijab. If I were a trained makeup artist and a part time fashion designer then maybe, MAYBE, I would be able to emulate one of them.

Hijab tutorials are praised in general because they encourage new and young Muslimahs to wear the hijab. Or they dispel the misconception that hijabs make us look unattractive and thus encourage women to wear it. However, below is what happens, at least in my case.

STEP 1: You decide to follow the tutorial; after all, they say you can look chic and cover your hair! You have bought the three colored scarves, and twisted and twirled them to no end, and still look nothing like the model in the tutorial. So then you tell yourself, “It must be her makeup.”

STEP 2: Go then to the makeup tutorial (also available as part of the hijab tutorial series): How to look fresh and dewy in “simple” “everyday” steps. All you need to look dewy is buy 17 products of MAC and shimmery shine, and there you are!

So you do that too; now, you have spent about more than half of your (or your husband’s) salary to get the exact products mentioned, and you still look NOTHING like YazTheSpaz. You know why? That’s because she is really thin.

STEP 3 Jump to her weight loss video:

She lost 30 pounds of weight! OMG. I am so following her routine.

After NOT being able to follow her routine or look like her, no matter how hard you have emulated all her tutorials, you feel UGLY.

Sounds familiar? Huh? How is this tutorial any different from the many Western Images of beauty that is being displayed in ads and criticized?

The above ad impels a woman to buy and use a product, believing that after two weeks, she will walk out looking like Yami Gautam – when you, me, and Yami herself know for sure that it’s not Fair and Lovely but genetics (plus makeup plus airbrushing) that makes her look the way they do. In the same way, if it is said that you twist and twirl three hijabs, and place a necklace on top, and then you would look just like Amenakin, you must be kidding yourselves.

Now of course many Muslim women don’t feel they can emulate J Lo or Beyonce. But we can emulate YaztheSpaz and Amenakin. They are the new line of halal celebrities. The fans are obsessed with their pre-post pregnancy weight, their marriage, their flawless skin.


Someone please tell me how different this is from obsessing over Angelina Jolie?

Of all of the body image issues, one of the most threatening is that of the body weight. We/Muslims are proud to repeatedly say that the hijab and a Muslim woman’s modest dressing sense should protect us from the West’s unhealthy obsession with looks. We don’t have to wear shorts, so we don’t need to have the perfect toned legs. We don’t need to “conform” to Western standards of beauty/weight loss.

Why then do we have elaborate tutorials on “How I Lost my Pregnancy Weight?” released as part of hijab tutorials? (On the other hand, the very Western Busy Philips and Amanda De Cadent have a much deeper and well-rounded opinion about our obsession with Pregnant Celebrities. And how pregnancy and childbirth, should be about growing a human being inside of you, and about actually giving birth to your offspring, and NOT about the before and after pictures, or how you look two weeks after giving birth.)

Not to mention the aforementioned “weight-loss” video, which begins with the statement “I lost 30 pounds.”

Is it different for a hijabi to lose weight than it is for non-hijabi? I don’t think so. (Unless it’s about the perils of working out with a hijab.) And why should we all want to lose 30 pounds? Because we want to be super skinny like Gwyenth Paltrow – or one of the hijab tutorial celebrities.

The Western world, is slowly realizing the ill effects of advertising unattainable standards of beauty. Mainstream beauty products like Dove have evolved their marketing strategy; to positively portray “real” women while addressing body image issues.  I can’t be sure if it’s a marketing gimmick, but I enjoy them. I identify with them. Dove gets me.

So if at least some people in the West (yes the horrific West that objectifies women) have started taking measures to raise awareness, and implores people to “Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does,” then aren’t the hijab tutorials regressive? I really do not want to have to talk to my daughter before a hijab tutorial does.

I am in no way saying that there is one particular way to wear a hijab, neither am I criticizing women who do wear colorful hijabs and want to look pretty while wearing it. I understand, and totally concur with their beliefs. There is also nothing wrong in experimenting with what you wear.

But most of the tutorials do not make a Muslim woman any better than what is so often criticized about our non-Muslim Western counterparts, who are supposedly obsessed with being extremely lean, follow a gruesome workout routine, and stack up on makeup and beauty products, to achieve a level of beauty that is unattainable for most of us.

In my hijab journey, I haven’t felt included or glad, after watching any of the tutorials. All I have felt is that I am not thin enough, or that I really need to run to the makeup store and get a million products, or maybe do a course in designer wear, BEFORE I can look OK in a hijab. And somehow that doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t seem like what Islam is trying to achieve for women. Every person has his or her own hijab journey, and I believe in being patient, inclusive and tolerant about it. I did finally learn to wear the hijab in a manner that I’m comfortable with from my sister-in-law, who doesn’t wear makeup. Not even lip gloss. I have in my own personal way, learnt to deal with my changed appearance in a hijab. I still don’t apply makeup, and haven’t yet seen a concealer. And I think I look pretty enough.

While the real intention of these tutorials is to invite more young Muslim women to wear the hijab and have fun while doing so, some of them take it too far, turning it into a clothed version of everything that’s wrong with media’s depiction of women.

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34 responses to “On (Not) Living Up to the Hijab Tutorial Ideal”

  1. Gotta say I am NOT a fan of hijab tutorials… mostly because I go with the easy option of being a goth niqaabi… which means I just wrap a shayla around my head and pull on my niqab, and call it goth because it’s all black 😉

  2. Izzie, this article is really great! I was wondering if you had ever come across this information before: The company Unilever is the owner of both Dove and Fair and Lovely, so they’ve been criticised for promoting the self-esteem and body acceptance of North American women while relying on racist beauty ideals to sell their skin bleaches to women in South Asia. (Here’s an article that provides more details: http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/08/30/RealBeauty/ ) So I would say that the “Campaign for Real Beauty” is definitely just a marketing gimmick, unfortunately.

  3. How about instead of doing these things to look “pretty”, do them for yourself? For many, including myself, it’s extremely important for a woman to look beautiful to feel beautiful and happy on the inside, for herself! I.E.- You are implying women tone their bodies JUST cause they wear shorts. That’s extremely false. Sure some women strive to look pretty for others. But (and I’m not the only one) I work out and lift and have an extremely tone body and DONT show it off in public. I do it so that IM happy. I feel beautiful no matter what. I take care of myself in private and public, under my abaya or no abaya, under my hijab or no hijab. True inner beauty and confidence translates into that natural glow, which is probably what’s stopping you from looking like the youtube hijabis. You say, “And why should we all want to lose 30 pounds? Because we want to be super skinny like Gwyenth Paltrow – or one of the hijab tutorial celebrities.” It’s not about looking good in a hijab. It’s about looking good overall for yourself. Sweetie, if you can come up with only those two reasons to tone your body, and both of them are so superficial and not about yourself, please reevaluate your thoughts! You make women and beauty into something so petty. Hijab or no hijab, woman or man, no person should let themselves go, and shouldn’t keep themselves for the sake of others . Goodluck.

  4. Thank you for discussing this issue which is of importance to many women who have embraced the hijab and are not a size 2 with flawless skin, etc, (myself included). I would however contest the idea that these “hijab gurus”/ youtube celebrities are no better than celebrities in western media for all the negative body image ideals they reinforce. The difference being that these ladies are not hired by the cosmetic/ fashion industries to promote a certain image or thinness, or anythings else. For the most part, all they are selling are their hijabs and accessories simply due to the high demand for their products. And most of the tutorials do not actually try to sell viewers on their products, they are there simply to inform or guide. By making the comparison between celebrities in mainstream media and youtubers, you are putting too much of an onus on these ladies who no doubt have no malicious intent in making their videos. For the most part, they are simply responding to the massive number of requests they get for certain videos and only catering to their demographic. The platform of youtube and other media such as television or magazines are completely different and cannot be painted with the same brush. High profile youtubers exist only because people love to watch them, and for that youtubers are not blameworthy. Of course you could say they have somewhat of a responsibility to their viewers to promote a healthy body image, and in that regard I think most of their intentions are in the right place. Especially Amenakin. Her and many other youtubers try to cater to a wide demographic and in putting up videos like “how I lost my pregnancy weight” and “3 easy hijab styles”, the intention is not to make anyone feel less than they are, rather it is obviously to help those who have requested such topics to be covered in gaining a little bit of info/ guidance. Simply put, you cannot put the blame on youtube “celebs” simply for being the way they are and having a large enough following to demand such a presence on the internet. There are many things that are blameworthy, such as the culture which lets the beautiful, thin ladies become famous instead many of the other equally fabulous ladies trying to make a mark on youtube/ internet but don’t because their image is not as appealing to the masses. Its a societal issue that lies in the hearts of people everywhere and not one in which individuals are culpable for the indirect effects of their efforts.

  5. All other “outward appearance harams” things aside for a sec, I decorate cakes. Time to time, when I get a specific order, I turn to cake tutorials on YouTube to see how a professional cake decorator handled a certain element, or modeled a certain item. I watch those videos to get inspired, to get ideas. I don’t go there to make a carbon copy of their work. I don’t chuck the whole cake in the garbage if it doesn’t turn out ‘just so.’ I make it my own, I recognize and accept its imperfections, and deliver it to my client. Even with the the plethora of flaws I can always see, I have brought a little joy to many birthday, wedding and graduations, and have had (thus far) no complaints. Cake decorating is an art form. It’s a way of expressing an internal image into fondant and frosting. Everything about a cake will be uniquely mine, and that’s what I love about it.
    Fashion and clothing is the same thing. It is translating an internal feeling or emotion onto an outward cut or texture of fabric. I watch Yaz and others because I like their creations, not to beat myself up because I can’t twist a strip of silk into a work of art atop my noggin just like she can. Sure, I want my husband to find me pretty, and I want to look good in a throng of other ladies, but I am uniquely me: an imperfect creation made by a perfect creator. What I have, regardless of what I think of it, was a gift given to me. If I want to make changes about myself or my style, it needs to be out of consideration for the One who gave it all to me, for myself and those I love, and not because I feel pressure to look like another unique creation.


    Being a fat girl, please believe me when I say I understand the societal pressures of reaching a certain beauty standard. I also understand how they can translate into every facet of your life. (I was once told by another sister that if I didn’t lose weight, only men seeking green cards would want to marry me, then divorce me because I wasn’t “fit enough to keep a man happy.” There are lots of bigger-than-me married sisters, but right on. Married going on six years. Joke’s on her. I digress.) However:

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    P.s. it’s not some hocus pocus that makes Yaz and these other ladies so awesome. It’s not her particular style (albeit cool) or the size of her waist, either. What we’re all drawn to is her confidence, and her ability to openly share with us what she enjoys doing. Confidence = hot.

    Learn to accept your imperfections, ladies, and find the beauty inside yourself. Silence the voices – internal or external – that say you’re not good enough because you don’t look a certain way. That’s just crazy talk. I don’t believe God ever said any of us weren’t pretty enough for love and mercy. Forget diamonds. Love of self is a girl’s best friend.

  6. I have to disagree with this, I am a new hijabi my self, I am not thin like Yaz and haven’t lost my pregnancy belly of having twins a year ago, but I watched the tutorials and seeing that there are different ways of fixing a hijab gave me the courage to put it on, I did have to try many different ways before I found the one that fits my head shape better and doesn’t fall that much. Sometimes I wear make up, sometimes I don’t, it all depends on the mood or how fast I need to leave my house, but if it wasn’t for those tutorials I can say I wouldn’t be wearing hijab now as I was afraid to look ugly. I also met Yaz and Amena in person and mashAllah they are lovely women who are just trying to help others. I don’t think that just because their videos didn’t help someone they have to be criticized that much, just like any other product in the market if you don’t like it just move on, they do work for some.

  7. I agree the makeup they wear in public and some of their styles of clothing and head scarf is not conducive to the true reality of hijab but I disagree with some of this post, just because we do not wear shorts or skirts doesn’t mean we should let ourselves go and become and not care about our appearance. As muslims we have a right over our bodies and also our husbands have this right and if we feel beautiful by staying slim and this is what comforts our partners, you should not find this a threat. There is a lot of you comparing your self to other women in this blog and coming to the conclusion that you are not pretty or slim enough because of the way they are and you seem to feel pressured to spend money on beauty products etc this stems from your personal insecurities, confidence and lack of self esteem sister. I hope you can work on this Inshallah. Although these sisters intentions are to promote Hijab, the whole fashonista trend is taking away the true purpose and essence of Hijab and this is very dangerous for our future generations.

  8. I agree the makeup they wear in public and some of their styles of
    clothing and head scarf is not conducive to the true reality of hijab, however I disagree with some of this post, just because we do not wear
    shorts or skirts doesn’t mean muslim women should let ourselves go and
    not care about our appearance. As muslims we have a right over our
    bodies and also our husbands have this right and if we feel beautiful by
    staying slim, feeling good by working out, and this is what comforts our partners too you should not find this a threat or feel intimidated. There is a lot of you comparing your self to other women in this blog, this is very unhealthy sister. Coming to the conclusion that you are not pretty or slim because of the way others are is very dangerous for mind, body and soul. A lot of the negativity may stem from personal insecurities, confidence and lack of self esteem sister. I hope you can work on this Inshallah. Although these sisters intentions are to promote Hijab, the whole fashonista trend is taking away the true purpose and essence of Hijab and this is very dangerous for our future generations.

  9. I’m SO glad I came across this article. For the longest time I’ve been thinking – I cannot possibly be the only person who feels that the true meaning of hijab has been lost through the rise of the “youtube hijabis” – if it were simple tutorials on how a new muslimah should tie her hijab, that would be understandable and acceptable. But, sadly nowadays, it’s become something TOTALLY different, a fashion statement, the article hits the nail on the head with the following statement “How is this tutorial any different from the many western Images of beauty that is being displayed in ads and criticized? … Now of course many Muslim women don’t feel they can emulate J Lo or Beyonce. But we can emulate YaztheSpaz and Amenakin. They are the new line of halal celebrities. The fans are obsessed with their pre-post pregnancy weight, their marriage, their flawless skin”. I admire the courage the writer has to put the bitter truth into an article, which many of the “fans” of these “halal celebrities” will no doubt dispute. May Allah reward you for your sincere efforts and intentions.

    • Thank you Saher. . I hope it helps the few who arent well evolved or mature and confident about their bodies…

      • It definitely does sis! It also bursts the bubble of those who “religiously” (Astaghfirullah) follow these “youtube hijabis” – I think you’ve touched a sensitive topic which is why so many are opposing it, nonetheless you’ve told the truth, we shouldn’t become obsessed with this celebrity culture, or the need to look a certain way – then what makes us different from those who follow pop stars. And I fully understand you’re in no way implying we “let go” of ourselves. Again, may Allah reward you for speaking the truth – keep it up!

      • Aren’t well evolved? or mature and confident? I think you need to rethink the mightier than thou attitude here as it brinks on arrogance.

    • Agree 100% But again as always you will get the Harram police jump on our backs and start calling us names such as Salafi, wahabi, extremists etc etc. I seen a few comments already….. Subhanallah.

  10. I disagree with the above article. The world is full of
    different types of women who feel different levels of passion re their
    dress and fashion. Some women are cool with a safety pin under their
    chin, or slipping their head through a pre-sewn hole in a khimar. Others
    opt for opulent 30 pin scarf roses atop their hijab and multiple colored
    scarves draping across their bosom. To each their own. If you don’t
    feel the tutorial turn it off and search for one that reflects your
    style aesthetic and taste. To label our current crop of hijabistas
    simply of the world and representing all that is unhealthy with Western
    Fashion Industry is disingenuous and a complete oversimplification of
    the underlying issues impacting negative body image within the Western

    I honestly believe that the author had serious issues re her own body
    image before embracing hijab and thought perhaps a piece of cloth
    covering her head and draping her bosom would make her self-esteem
    issues disappear. Hijab is not that powerful. One has to look inside to
    fix such insecurities. As a girlfriend mentioned in response to this conversation “I think we work on loving who we are and installing confidence then there wouldn’t be a reason to feel any pressure to look a certain way.”

    …AND i honestly can’t find fault with Muslimahs encouraging their sister to a
    healthier lifestyle. I’m not sure how much the author weighs but I know
    many many Muslimahs who wish and for health reason should lose 30+ lbs and embrace a much healthier lifestyle than they are currently living. I’d rather pay a trainer in khimar than one not, so I appreciate the option to now be able to support a Muslimah fitness guru or lifestyle coach.

  11. I think you have to take these videos with a grain of salt. Or rather, a pound of maturity. They are helpful in that they can communicate ideas that we may not have had access too, like repurposing regular accessories as hijab fastenings, or other things. I agree that some of these videos get carried away, but such is the nature of show business. It’s great that you have the confidence to be yourself. Be it.

  12. @Everyone who has commented: First of all I would like to Alhamdulilaa. We have such a great set of Confident, Mature Woman, who knows what to take with a grain of salt and what not to. When to switch off/turn off the channel, and who also realises that “glow comes from within their souls and reflects on to our face” (Imane : Thanks for letting me know the real reason I have no glow.)

    That case we are saved. If we all know all of this, we shouldnt ever be complaining about any of the images projected onto us by media. After all, arent we all, mature? (Except the author of course!)
    I really dono from which part of the article, did you get the idea that “We should let ourselves go”. Or that we shouldnt exercise. Or that dressing up in itself is “BAD”?
    I have no personal vendatta against the celebrities, I am sure they are lovely.
    Now, for the comment that I shouldnt be comparing some simple lovely youtubers with companies with “malicious” intent. I know they are “just” trying to sell their hijab and “help” people. Of course they are. And though I have quoted the article, as something that happened to me, this was something I heard among a good number of my cousins and friends (yes, everyone I know has self-esteem issues).
    I havent mentioned that women tone their bodies just to wear shorts. I am implying that Everywhere you check for “Why I wear a Hijab”, the reasons given are these: because it makes people look at my brain and not my body. While exercising is essential. Exercising to lose 30 pounds, or starting an article with “weight-loss” tips, doesnt make them any better. Or even mentioning daily exercise as a reason to have glowing skin, would have been good. Losing weight and toning up in a healthy manner is always applauded. Losing 30 pounds? When all she looked was “normal” before isnt.
    And if we are all so mature then I really do not know why people are complaining and criticising the “underlying” issues with “Western” media’s projection of women. Just take it with a grain of salt, ladies.
    Moreover, think about the younger generation, who arent as mature and believe in their inside beauty (reflecting) to the outside. Now I am pretty sure, you will say , we need to raise them with self confidence, and make them realise its for them. Yes, yes of course…

  13. I LOVED this, really inshallah we remember why we wear hijab.. it is not to spend a ton of time in the morning picking out the right outfit and matching it with a cute styled, scarf. This only ends up impressing the non-Muslims around us, because in a fashion-based world, this is what they want from us; to fit in fashionably. Quite honestly, most of these styles lead us to inappropriate, tighter cuter clothing, wearing even minor makeup to a ton of makeup, and etc… it is better we not live off tutorials online and start gaining some more knowledge on our Deen and our Quran. Plus, Imane I know you think it is about doing things for yourself, but even in Islam it teaches us to guard that and keep it at home for people like our husband to see.. this girl is truly pointing out that this ends up going farther than we think and Shaytan convinces us step by step to keep going farther from what is okay…. especially as a convert, I remember hijab and those things being pointed out as most important first, but really on the day of Judgement we will not be asked how stylish our hijab was, but of our knowledge and deeds. Sadly, as women we are losing the battle of knowledge sometimes simply to style and fashion. I hope more people read this and I am truly thankful you are willing to discuss this growing issue. 🙂 Remember ladies, most of these hijab tutorials are not showing proper hijab anyways, so please fear Allah before you follow something that may lead you away from Allah. May Allah guide us all to the best path, for He knows best!

      • In the Qur’an, Allah is referred to as “He”, although the Quran also makes clear that Allah has no gender or sex. It’s a matter of convention. In fact, in classical Arabic, it’s not improper to speak about a woman (particularly in poetry) using the masculine pronoun. For example, a poet may say “My love, he is more beautiful than the moon” when writing about a female. It even happens in modern Arabic music, where men will sing about and to females using “he”.

        • But you are not using Arabic, you are speaking in English. The tradition of Arabic patriarchy is not a good enough reason for me to use “he” in English. Since Allah has no gender, in English it would seem to be irrefutable that it is irrational and misrepresenting to say “he” for Allah. As Allah has no shape or form, much less a gender, the anthropomorphic projection is really a self-delusion.

  14. Salaam u alaikum,

    When somebody is comfortable, they are happy. When they are happy, they smile, and when they smile, they look beautiful – no matter who they are, or how much weight they may have.

    So to make somebody look beautiful, all you really have to do is design products that are not about beauty, but feeling comfortable.

    At Fetoun, comfort comes first.

    Working with Fetoun, I traveled to several of their booths at convention centers, and I would just watch sisters walk in as their normal selves and come out smiling, with great posture, and sometimes jumping up in excitement screaming “It’s so comfortable! You have to try this on!”

    Trying to make people look good is the easy way out. It’s the quick way to make money while selling an opinion to people that may change as time goes on…

    But trying to make people feel good about what they’re wearing… getting them to feel comfortable… that’s where the real challenge comes, but you know it’s honest business because you’re selling facts. We don’t tell our customers that they look beautiful, we ask them: “Is it comfortable?”

    And that’s why I’ve been doing my best to help Fetoun grow, because even being the awkward guy out there selling women’s clothes, I can testify on behalf of all the husbands who approach me and thank me for getting rid of their wife’s “hijab headache” with the first ever comfortable head-covering for women.

    – Belal

  15. So what precisely is the purpose of the hijab? This is an interesting article in the sense of sharing the silliness that people go through to look a certain way. But what exactly is the “hijab look” trying to accomplish? Without understanding the purpose of the hijab I have the feeling that I’m missing something about the irony of a “hijab tutorial.”

  16. You should want to lose weight to be healthy, not for appearances. It has nothing to do with aesthetics. You have an obligation to your body to be healthy and should have at least a decent weight. Having extra pounds puts a strain on your bones, muscles, and organs. It’s a good thing these girls are encouraging weight loss. No need to be stick thin but for God’s sake don’t make some BS excuse to stay fat because Islam encourages modesty.

  17. i disagree so much. you make these young women seem so shallow and petty. what is wrong to want to lose pregnancy weight? i would think alot of women want to do this, for themselves. obviously if you cover it is for yourself. i’ve been struggling with obesity for a while and whenever i see a success story it pumps me up because i know its possible. amenakin especially seems incredibly humble in her videos, funny, loves her husband despite arranged marriage and lots of kids. she does charity stuff too. obviously i don’t know her personally but as a internet celeb she is a good roll model.

  18. I cannot speak for any of the other women in your article, but as a hijabi video blogger myself, I relate to some of what you say. I’m not Amenakin or YazTheSpaz and I am not “thin” but I still feel stylish and beautiful in my hijab and love to share it. I think there is a distinction to be made between obsession with looks and the need to be healthy and feel good about ourselves. I think it needs to be taken with a grain of salt: not as an obsession but as an idea, an point of start. Your headscarf may not look like YazTheSpaz’ but I’m sure you can turn it into something that makes you YOU! I’ve had sooo much fun trying to come up with my own fresh new ideas. I think my best one so far is my halloween costume: http://youtu.be/GC6rSfhd3ec

  19. It seems a “Hijabi identity” is very different from a “Muslimah identity.” Hijabis get stuck between holier-than-thou attitude and prettier-than-thou attitude.

    I want to make the point that us guys are catching on to this game too. What you do with your self is your business. But us guys aren’t clueless or blind about these things. We know you are wearing heavy makeup and what you may be trying to conceal underneath it. We know you drew on your eyebrows or that some hijabis put luffa shower sponge inside their hijab to give it “volume” (like hair? or like a camel hump?) And we know that the only reason you are holding your head so high, is because of all that makeup you have caked on. If that make up by chance came off, you’d go and hide quicker than if your hijab fell off.


    • Much respect for this comment. As a non-makeup wearing feminist Muslimah, I believed Muslim guys were fairly oblivious to the pounds of makeup lathered on by these ‘hijabis’, until I read this 🙂

  20. Mash Allah. I’ve never even noticed how the models look. I only know I haven’t been able to make my hijab look like theirs or wearable! Alhamdulillah for pre-made hijabs :/

  21. I never got up and clapped for so long in my life. takbir: Allah Akbar. Mashallah you really hit the nail on the head with this post. Well written and you have said what is on the minds of so many of us hijabies. I agree what is different from these people and the non Muslim celebrities? Nothing, just a piece of cloth.
    Well done sister.

  22. I have watched many videos as you have listed above, and seen once humble sweet sisters turn into people with such arrogance and pride. With so many comments from young girls saying such things as “I love you so and so your my idol” “I love you, you are super cute” “OMG your amazing, number one Youtuber”…. this all gets to someones head and is from Shiytan and these sisters get arrogant. So much so when i have personally tried to contacted 1 or 2 to give advice I have been Snubbed and called all sorts, jealous, Evil, Extremist, Salafi, Wahabi, Al qaida etc etc
    Allah guide them. ameen

  23. It is hard to wear hijab. It just is, and there are so many messages that tell us we are unworthy or ugly nor undesirable as women for choosing to be covered. We compensate for this with trying to style out our hijaabs and look a certain way. We stumble, and make mistakes, cross lines, go back over them, go in circles. But still we fall into the same trap mtrying to meet standards of beauty set by those who do not really have our best ibterests at heart, who dont eveb know what true beauty is. Somehow we must try to find a way for our hearts to bd aligned in sevice to our creator, who is beautiful, and made us all beautiful,to cover as an act of dignifying ourseselves. And know that in a world where dignity us confused and conflated with all kinds of other messed up ideas, it may not be understood or even, ridiculed. But we have to nurture that connection to Allah everyday, even though it IS hard, because it is, but we do it because we love Allah, who is the one who honours us, and beautifies us. Allah who knows w0how hard it is and can make it easier, who can make us lights as we walk with our bodies covered, who makes our hearts light. Every day we ask ourselves who we do this for and maybe one day, we really will manage to do it for Him with our whole hearts, then we can move on, andbe more than just what we wear or dont wear.

    • Don’t know if you accept comments from non-Muslims, but here goes: wrangling with societal expectations of appearance, whether those expectations are Wahhabi – Muslim, Western – Popular American, or Western – Popular Venezuelan (a culture in which plastic surgery and bust enhancement are VERY popular) is hard for many women.

  24. This is a great article! You’ve raised some really great points, some of which I wasn’t even consciously aware of thinking about. You’re right, we may not want to emulate Angelina Jolie, but we have our own line of Muslim online celebrities that many of us want to copy and emulate, which is just as dangerous.

    Thank you for writing this issue. I hope we all start raising awareness about this issue, inshAllah.

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