By Chelle (United States)
I am not a Muslim woman. However, I am a Hijabi woman (even though not all faiths call it by the same name). There are many different religions whose woman choose to dedicate their soul, heart, mind and body to their faith with the inclusion of covering, wrapping, veiling, hijab, and so many other names. I am proud of my choice and proud of my sisters of all faiths who also make this choice. I felt a desire to write my reasons for choosing to do so a while back when some uneducated woman told me that I was oppressed and probably did not even know why I had to cover my head. I could have started yelling at her all the reasons, but I chose to go home and write it out and then some time later I put it on my Facebook page. I did not do it for her or anyone else; I chose to write this for me and then I chose to share it for education purposes. My hope is that if I can help empower a woman who is scared of society for the choice she makes then I have served my purpose well. We as women often do not have a level playing field. We are often darned if we do and darned if we don’t. I do not even want a level playing field. I just want my sisters of all faiths to know that you are not only on the field, but you have a huge team rooting for you and here to support you. No matter your path, your sisters are here to support you and love you. Be strong and be faithful to who you are.
5 Reasons I choose to cover my head and hair with headscarves:
1 – It expresses my devotion, respect, and commitment to my Gods and Goddesses. As anyone else in their faith, I do not ignore what I am called to do by my Gods and Goddesses. It allows me to be in a beautiful and spiritual state that is receptive, aware, and centered. In my faith, it offers a level of needed protection and free of distraction on many sacred levels that are important to me. These are internal benefits and protections that have nothing to do with my outward appearance and everything to do with my spiritual and emotional growth and well being.
2 – I prefer to keep the focus on my face and my facial expressions and not on secondary sexualized characteristics. The face of every human being is beautiful and sadly, people tend to focus on secondary sexualized characteristics instead (hair, make-up, tight clothes, cleavage, rear, legs, shoes… etc…).
3 – Choosing to cover also creates a level of honor and privacy in a secure sense that it is immediately visible that I am beautifully married and unavailable. It also creates a psychological barrier, a cognitive distance between myself and strangers (or others I choose to be distanced from), if you will; a distance that use to be valued in society and this is something in which seems to have been lost through the generations. It serves well in deterring unnecessary and unwanted attentions which is of the utmost discomfort.
4 – Covering my hair is not only modest, it is also beautiful, comfortable and practical. I do not have to worry about styling my hair to appease the shallow judgments of those in the general public. I do not need to put 10 dollars worth of hair product in my hair or 1 lb of face make up to cover myself and hide the real me from society. Some may put on a hat or even a wig of some sort, I wear my scarf.
5 – I spent many years of my adult life finding different ways to cover without creating social hurdles or problems caused by ignorant people… I would wear hats, bandannas, beanie caps, and a number of other things. Eventually, it got to a point where I just could not worry about the ignorant concerns of other people or the bigots who wish to rule the world with fear factors. I prefer to wear scarves and I have never felt more beautiful and strong when I do cover with a scarf. My choosing to wear a scarf on my head is no more a political statement and no more anyone’s business than someone wearing a Nike hat. My husband has brought me home some of the most amazing scarves from the Middle East and it means a lot to me to be able to wear them with confidence and pride. I know I do not need the approval of society when it comes to what I wear on my head and my husband has fought for the rights of the American people to make these decisions; I only need the approval of my Gods, Goddesses, and myself. Some women want their husband to pick out beautiful jewelry, shoes or dresses, mine picks me out scarves, books, and Amazon gift cards, and I could not be happier.