Hijab is the Arabic term for “cover.” It’s derived from the root word which means
(verb): to cover, to shelter, to screen or to veil.
The beauty of the Arabic language is that, much like English, it has several meanings for one word. But in the Western world, the word “Hijab” is correlated with being oppressed, Islam, backwards, terrorist and foreign. The media has created their own meaning of Hijab without actually asking women who wear the Hijab what it means and why they wear it. They have forgotten that it is about SHE – the woman that wears it – and SHE has her own interpretation of Hijab.
As a Muslim American woman who wears the Hijab in America during these emotionally heightened times, it has become clear to me that the media don’t understand the meaning of Hijab after all these years and needs to be informed from the source herself.
I wear the Hijab because I feel empowered.
It is empowering when women choose what they want to cover and what they want to show. Wearing the Hijab has allowed me to learn more about my body and myself as a woman. The standards the male dominated media has set for women (like the ideal waist size, skin tone, hair perfection, bigger breasts, bigger butts, etc.) make me want to wear the Hijab even more. It has always been hard being a woman, especially in this era of social media. Social media has made us more obsessed with looks than any other time. Wearing the hijab has allowed me to dig deeply into what beauty actually means.
It enabled me to build confidence in myself and realize that feeling beautiful is something I’m in control of. When I wrap the scarf around my hair I realize more and more that I’m not seeking validation from anyone and that’s when I feel beautiful.
Wearing the hijab has allowed me to dig deeply into what beauty actually means.
I actually wear the Hijab for political reasons more than religious reasons. People are so quick to label a woman who wears the Hijab as religious without even understanding why she wears it. In the Trump era, it has become more vital to become vocally active in politics. My hijab is my voice in this era. It allows me to spread light on what it means to me and to show others that the piece of cloth on my head is not threatening or oppressing. I started a blog to explain my definition of Hijab – because every woman has her own reason why she wears it. I came up with the term Herjab. The “her” in Herjab is something any woman can relate to. It’s a reminder that every woman has her own story.
My hijab is my voice in this era.
At the end of the day, the Hijab on my head a is just an extra piece of clothing that covers my head… not my mind. People are afraid of things that are different from them, but if we put our differences aside we’d realize that we have more in common than we think. I am an American Muslim that wears the Hijab. I love to shop. I love makeup. I binge watch on Netflix. I’m a Warriors fan. I believe in equality for everyone regardless of race, sex, gender, religion or ethnicity – and on top of all of that – I too, am human.