By Samantha Melia
I participated in 30-day Ramadan Hijab Challenge in 2014 and I came to a better understanding of not only why the hijab is worn but a better understanding of myself and what I stand for as a person. I come from a Christian family, though I believe in God, I am not religious, and as a young child I never really understood why certain people dressed like that and as I got older I was always told the women are forced to wear them and that the hijab is a sign of oppression (I now know this is not true).
Wearing the hijab I felt the complete opposite. I felt liberated from the pressures of society to look a certain way and I even felt more feminine and confident. I had always thought hijabs were beautiful but I was always afraid of telling anyone or telling my parents that I wanted to try wearing one for fear of what others would think or if I wasn’t allowed to wearing one. That was until this Hijab Challenge. Even though the hijab challenge is finished I still occasionally wear the hijab for how it makes me feel.
Being covered I have more self-respect, it makes me feel closer to God and feel a freedom I was unaccustomed to before. The challenge was difficult at times, people looked at me in certain ways (not good way) and some people even yelled rude things at me from their cars but I have come to understand that people who truly care for me will accept me for who I am not what I wear or how I look.