Even for men, hair, wearing of hats, headgear, and style of the hair, has always been culturally important. Kings around the world have worn crowns and headdress, to indicate their status. In most of the armed services, rank symbols are not only worn on the shoulders, but the hat as well. At times, the prophet Muhammad’s hair style was mentioned. Sometimes it was short, and sometimes long and neatly braided. He was also said to have taken special care not to mess up his turban unless it was necessary.
The second good reason is that if you’ve looked around lately, revealing clothes aren’t just worn on the runway anymore. It seems that the obsession with thinness, which sprang from obsession with the body, is getting worse every year. Despite the growing number of activists who are rejecting the “Barbie” body standard being attached to self worth, more older women, not just teenagers, are getting eating disorders. The focus has moved from health to looks. Even the supposed “body positive” movement was hijacked by the new Brazilian butt lift Barbie ideal.
It is very easy to say, “Treat me as an equal,” but it is quite another thing to practice, and to demand justice. Regardless of what ought to be, we live in a world where far too many people believe that what is open to their eyes is open to their hands. I’m not talking about just imposing come-ons and touching. I write also of the way that other women demean and degrade each other over physicality.
Hijab takes the body away from the eyes of those one does not choose to reveal it to, and thus, sends a message that, “This is my and/or my God’s domain.”
So, to all you non Muslim women out there, if you’re tired of being seen as your body, the next time you see a cute caftan, thobe or jilbab in a catalogue, don’t worry that you’re not Muslim. Order it. You will not only be helping yourself, but helping others to break the stereotypes about Muslims, and about women of other faiths and belief systems.
You’ll also be alot cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter, and more comfortable year round. No more chafing from tight clothes, and no more dependence on the details of your body shape for determining how people will perceive you. You get to be just you, and not just your “sexual market value”. In fact, it may open up totally new markets.
If you’re trying to attract or keep a good partner who values you for your personality, then it helps to present your personality before your body. However, it shouldn’t matter how you are dressed. In that awareness though, it’s good to have a variety in the wardrobe to show that it is your choice, not someone else’s, and not style “rules” that dictate how much or how little you will show. You should exercise your options. Honestly, some folks just aren’t that concerned about modesty, and that’s their choice which should be respected. However, if you’re not one of those people, and if you prefer not to expose your physique for the sake of trends, or you want to break out of the body obsessed mentality, then why not just do it? Below are some links to get you started.
Veiling and Headcovering Information
The big three religions already have well known resources and standards. So this set of links is for those who may be secular or pantheistic/polytheistic/polyentheistic. Because we are aware of energy centers in the body, the effects of certain styles or types are relevant for us.
What is the significance of headwraps in Vodun/African spirituality? – A brief explanation of why head covering is common for practitioners of African and diaspora spiritual systems.
Veiling and the Chakras | Eclectic Witch – Notes on how veiling can affect the chakras and how to care for one’s head covering for optimal flow.
Hi, I’m a Head Covering Heathen – Lea Svendsen explains why she veils and how it has aided her spiritual growth and social awareness.
Lisa Aigbe Handmade – Stunning African headwrap designs as well as other accessories and clothing. Bespoke and custom ordering means each item is made specifically to your size and needs.
Turbante-se – Beautiful headbands, turbans, wraps, and “mascarf” (a face mask that drapes like a scarf) in many styles and patterns.
Al Hannah – Beautiful modest clothing for the whole family. If you live in a hot, humid climate, their cotton salwar kameez sets will be very useful.
Wrapunzel – Jewish women’s head coverings, scarves, and automatic turbans. They have some gorgeous styles.