“Don’t judge a woman by her cover,” says Palestinian-born, Dubai-based beauty and fashion icon Wafa Yahya, who is determined to eradicate stereotypes associated with women who wear the hijab.
“As a woman in hijab, who believes in both the power of fashion and women empowerment, I am very open minded when it comes to accepting changes and challenges in life and how everyone perceives veiled women,” said Yahya, who is the brain behind the beauty and style blog Wafa’s Diary. “I believe that fashion gives more confidence to a woman and our fashion sense is a reflection of our inner persona.”
Here Wafa Yahya reveals the five most common stereotypes about women who wear hijabs
The Stereotype: Women in hijab are hushed and extremely traditional.
The Reality: We enjoy life as much as everyone else. We love doing what other girls who don’t wear hijab do. We love singing, acting and performing, we love to participate in sports programmes, we appreciate arts, literature and culture.
The Stereotype: Women in hijab are forced to cover.
The Reality: We have a freedom to choose for our life. Wearing the hijab is a matter of faith and personal choice. Most Muslim women I know are independent, strong-minded individuals who decide to cover up out of personal choice.
The Stereotype: Women in hijab are timid.
The Reality: You can blame this stereotype on the movies that depict Muslim women in degrading roles such as oppressed wives, or faceless victims waiting to be rescued by a male hero. We are not timid.
The Stereotype: Women in hijab are not stylish.
The Reality: Really? Just because someone is covered from head-to-toe does not mean she is not fashionable. I perceive fashion as a reflection of inner beauty, and the secret of beauty lies in simplicity and modesty.
The Stereotype: Hijab wearing women in hijab are all the same.
The Reality: Muslims are a diverse group of people coming from many different cultures. We have different opinions about different issues and matters. We have varying appearance and style. We have different languages. We all have individuality and we are all born unique with distinctive talents, abilities and gifts just like everyone else.
Three Hijab Fashion Instagram Accounts Worth Following:
Vibrant and modern looks for the “young hijabis.”
Everything from street style looks to food, make-up and style advice.
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A collection of amazing and inspiring #hijabfashion posts from across the globe.
Words: Wafa Yahya
Main image: Hijab_House