Mar 22nd, 2018, 10:59 PM

The Changing Face of Headscarves

By Anabel Bachour
Image Credit: Instagram/ lifelongpercussion
How is fashion helping spread a better image of headscarves?

The term ‘hijab’ is one name for a variety of similar headscarves, and in the Quran, it refers not to women's clothing, but rather to a spatial partition or curtain, which the female uses to hide part of her face and/or body for religious reasons. It is a veil used by women from different and various religious backgrounds to cover their heads and necks. The term can refer to any head, face, or body covering worn by women that conform to a certain standard of modesty.

Over the years, the way of styling the headscarf has evolved. It went from a full traditional veil, better known as a burqa, where women cover all of their faces, including their eyes. Today, one can now see what’s being called the ‘Street Style’ hijab, a more modern and fashionable way to cover the head and neck.

Image Credit: Instagram / Saufeeya Goodson

Narmin is a twenty-three-year-old graduate student from AUP who has been wearing the hijab for seven years now. She says that it has become a part of her that is very hard to let go of:

“I am really against wearing the burqa. For me, your face is a part of your identity, part of who you are, how people can identify you. And when you hide this, you’re hiding yourself. You will be hidden from others and that will only portray the idea that you are an oppressed woman, forced to cover her identity. And no woman would accept to hide her identity,” Narmin argues.

The standard hijab consists of one or two scarves that cover the head and neck, which is believed to be the most common styling of the past. However, with the world evolving and globalizing as fast as it is right now, the styling of the hijab is also up for revision. Women are becoming more creative when it comes to covering their hair, the visibility of which is thought to be representative of female attractiveness.


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Hijabs are not immune to fashion or it’s trend environment. Bloggers from different nationalities and ethnic and religious backgrounds are participating in the modernization of the hijab. Whether in fashion or makeup, headscarves are being used as a tool to spread a positive image on religions requiring it. The new hijab trends aim to reach people who don’t understand the real meaning of hijab, or the young women who are afraid to wear hijab because the styling or the notion of wearing it could be argued to be somehow ‘old fashioned’, in hopes to deliver a better and positive image about hijab.   

“We have to be aware of the idea that fashion is always evolving. Like, the way my mother wore the hijab at twenty years of age is not at all similar to the way I wear hijab now. So it is always changing, just like fashion can’t stop evolving, Hijab is nonetheless a fashion if you really think of it, it is part of your costume. Yet, I think that today a lot of bloggers are using hijab styling to promote their profiles and gain followers. But that is also coming as a benefit if you think about it. It is conveying the idea that not all Muslim women are oppressed the way you read in the news or whatever. It’s more like these bloggers are promoting and selling an ideology that people are not used to. And that is good!”   

As Narmin observes, despite the fact that fashion designers, models, runway shows, and bloggers sometimes using the hijab as a marketing tool, it is nonetheless helping with spreading a more positive idea about the concept of headscarves, and helping the world get a better idea of hijab and perhaps, the whole Islam religion in general. It implies the idea that even Muslim women have the right to dress themselves fashionably to enjoy their bodies, their beauty, and express themselves while respecting and fulfilling the rules of their religion.