August 14th, 2016
Loving myself more and more in the hijab ❤
Disclaimer: I never do Religion related posts, but I really wanted to write this quickly before I head to bed (work night 😦 ). If your not a person that believes in Islam or religion I suggest skipping out on this one, unfortunately! Sorry! Will be having another post this weekend that I think will really be amazing! Thank you and sorry again. But if you will be continuing reading this, I really hope you enjoy and can relate or understand what I am saying. It’s almost one in the morning, and I have to be up in a few hours for work, so I just want to get some things completely off my chest and head to bed. Like all my other posts there are no other drafts, there are no other copies, this is pretty much it. I never make blog posts where I have already pre-written it. I’m just going to type everything I feel regardless if it makes sense and then hit the post. Real and authentic. No edits or cut outs. I have no idea if this is only about my struggle with the hijab but also my struggle with meeting up with societies standards and definition of “beauty” either way, I do not know but I hope you enjoy this big ball of confusion. Love you all.
TRIAL ONE: THE FRIGHTEN QUESTIONING
As the years have gone by and the further I have grown with my hijab, the shrewd guess would be that as time prevails, it has become easier for one. Me, being a full-time hijabie for about two years now and have become consistent with my wearing without taking it off. Because I have worn the hijab in the past but was very inconsistent with it concerning me taking it off here and there. I would take it off randomly if I were going to the mall, going out or just randomly felt like it to be honest. Then I think in December of 2014 when I decided that I would no longer be taking it off and wanted to be consistent with it. So I guess it has not been exactly two years, but that mark is slowly approaching inshallah. However, yeah, Alhamdulillah it has been almost nearly two years since I left my house without my hijab on. Crazy, because two years ago I would have been like there is no way that that would be possible and that I would eventually slip up. However, no, I have not once slipped up and for that I thank Allah. I cannot count how many times I was so close and so tempted to take it off. Voices in my head are telling me “it’s one night, it is not that serious” and “you would look so much better without the hijab.” A recent incident was hardly a month ago; it was Eid and a friend, and I was going out to celebrate. I did my makeup, put together a cute outfit and even did my hair. I was ready to take my hijab off. I spent I think about an hour on my hair trying every hairstyle possible to see exactly which one best compliments my outfit. At first, when I was doing my hair I did not feel even one ounce of guilt with what I was doing as I was preparing myself, all I could think about was how “Bomb” I was going to look. I sent out so many snap chats to people showing them my outfit, my makeup, my hair… everything. I was feeling really good about myself. Then when I got the calls to start leaving my house and me approaching my door to leave was when it hit me all at once. Full force… straight impact. I swear I have never felt guiltier in my entire life and trust me I have done some pretty messed up things that have caused me to feel guilty but for some reason this was different. It felt oddly different. I just sort of stood there for a few seconds holding the doorknob glancing between the door knob and my outfit. That is when I started talking myself.. more like questioning myself really. I had not taken off my hijab in so long that even my mother earlier that day was shocked when I told her that I would not be wearing it that night. Just a quick background information, my mom is amazing mashallah. Although she insists for my sister and me to wear it, she does not pressure us too. She said she would rather us do it fully for the sake of Allah SWT then for her. But yeah back to what I was saying. I started questioning myself as to what I would benefit from it? What was I to get out of this? Was I really going to throw away almost two years, two years of effort, struggle, growth and progress for one night’s worth of compliments on how “good” I look? Would the compliments somehow mend my guilt? No. I have worked so hard and fought off numerous temptations for two years. I through countless mornings of me having a self-battles with myself on why I should and should not take it off. One side is telling me just to do it and the other telling me to not. And me trying so hard not to listen to those demons. Do I honestly want to give up and throw away all that I have worked on and potentially risk Allah being disappointed with me? All for just a couple extra looks from guys maybe even getting a few compliments out of them and a couple “slaaaaayyyyyy girl” from all these girls. Post a couple of Instagram pictures then what? Will I get a couple of extra likes than usual? Couple additional comments? A couple of extra guys messaging me? Because an observation I noticed was when I do post pictures with my hijab, on Instagram I do get a fairly good amount of likes and comments. You know your average amount nothing crazy. No guy is messaging me trying to chat up with me. But the second I post one without my hijab on I get double whatever I had before. All these comments were telling me how amazing I look, getting nearly 500 likes on a single selfie and all these guys messaging me all of a sudden. I do not mean to sound like I am conceited because likes and comments to me never have and never will validate my worth. But I’m not going to lie sometimes it does boost confidence a little bit when I see all this attention. I know that sounds a little sad, but it does. I feel like any girl would feel good about themselves if everyone is over here complimenting them and receiving a bit more attention than usual. It’s not just me either, I have had a few conversations with other girls experiencing the same if not the exact thing. When they post a picture with their hijab on its like “okay cool, nice picture girl”. But the second she posts one without her hijab on its like Beyonce has emerged lol. I cannot imagine how a girl that maybe is already struggling with self-esteem issues and very insecure with her hijab would react to this. It’s kind of like an encouragement and a silent reassurance that she does look better with her hijab on. Because I will use myself as an example in the past when I was first starting posting Instagram pictures without my hijab on, which by the way I have only had my account for about a year now, and started posting pictures with my hijab on and begun to compare both ratios. It began to make me think that maybe I was right, that maybe I after all do look better without my hijab on. I don’t know if this is making sense to most but… it’s just something I noticed really. It was not worth it. When I step back and look from the outside in. It’s not worth it. It frightens me how close I was and how close I have been in the past and the recent. How so quickly and undoubtedly I could potentially give it up. It got me think how many more scenarios like this would there be. How many of these scenarios would end up me actually taking it off? Just some things that I think and question myself about.
TRIAL TWO: THE COMPARING
People continuously say, “with time it will become easier”… and in a way, I suppose it does. However, for some strange reason, I feel like as time goes on it becomes even more challenging than the day I decided that I was going to be consistent with my hijab-wearing. With social media rising and the standards that are set for women increases, it becomes even harder for a girl like me that is already so fragile in wearing the hijab to be vigorous and firm. You log into outlets like Instagram that is popular in showcasing all these beautiful women and are constantly being bombarded the second you click on the app. Bombarded with all these hundreds of exquisitely beautiful exotic looking women with doll-like eyes, long straight and narrow noses, lips oh so full, long healthy shiny hair, and skin smooth like milk and honey. These girls are like societies dolls and examples. Examples of what is and what should be. What is beautiful and what you should be. As if society has put these woman out there to the public as a careful watcher to make sure everyone is in line and obliging but societies rules and standards. You click the Discover page and BOOM there they are. You scroll through your timeline and BOOM again.. there they are. You exit the app altogether overwhelmed with jealousy and awe. You click on Twitter hoping to maybe get a couple of chuckles here and there you know? Watch a few viral videos of Worldstar fights, what else is Twitter known for right? You scroll through your timeline, reading a few tweets, retweet all the funny ones, and then BOOM just when you thought you could escape them. You now see other girls POSTING all these women with things like “Goals,” “Women Crush Wednesday,” “I wish I looked like her,” “Face goals”, and “Body goals” right under these images. On Instagram these women were posting pictures of themselves, now here you have other girls reassuring and reposting those pictures for them. As a means to help spread the word of again what Goals is” and what your achievements should look like. Again you flick off the app and attempt to try out Snapchat and Tumblr but again faced with yet another disappointment after realizing that these women are everywhere and anywhere. There is no escaping them. You throw away your phone and click on the remote to your TV… there they are again… in all their glory. You flick to the next channel you see one telling you to buy this makeup product because “you are worth it.” You flick to the next and here is another one telling you to shop at a store so you too could look like them. You flick to another one, and it is an ad telling you, you need this perfume to get this guy to fall in love with you. Again… there is no escaping them. You chug a magazine in your hand and instantly throw it right back to where you found it after seeing Kim Kardashian face and half naked body spread all over the magazine. No escaping.
They say to you “be confident!” and to “love yourself!”. However, how can one do such when they are continually reminded of what is “beautiful” and are left saddened when they realize that they do not meet the criteria’s? What if you do not have curves like Kim Kardashian, lips like Kylie, face like Amrezy, and a stomach that is crazy pinched? It’s already hard enough for a girl already, now imagine what it does to a girl that cannot show her hair, show off her body and show some extra skin. Where does that leave her? We still want to oblige by our commitments to our God and our faith and still feel beautiful. However, how can we do both if one of them is going against the other? Because society today’s definition of beauty is half naked, long thick hair, smooth skin, huge butt and hips, and full lips. If you lack even one of these criteria’s, then what? Are you out of luck? Are you not up to par? I cannot go out looking like that… I’m a hijabi. I can’t wear all these crazy clothes and do all these things to my hair. Not only is it not allowed by my religion I just cannot see myself looking and being like that. I could take off my hijab today and be seen as okay yeah she’s cute. But the second I start gaining weight, using a waist trainer to get that “goal” waist, doing exercises for my butt to get that perky butt, buy all these pricey hair extensions like Amrezy, start dressing in all the latest trends that require extra skin, I could go from just okay to now “goals”. Because let’s face it beauty doesn’t just have good skin, a cute face and good hair like it use to be. Society has taken the word and ran with it and created all these unrealistic requirements with the word “beauty” attached to it. I will never have a butt like Kim sorry to disappoint society. Look… I don’t want to disobey my commitments with my faith, but I want to feel beautiful. I’m a woman you know, a young one at that. I want to feel good about myself; I want to be perceived as beautiful. But at what costs and lengths do I have to reach? Will it mean going against what my faith is saying?
TRIAL THREE: THE REALIZATION
I’ve realized that, I think one of the main reasons why I was so on and off with my hijab and continuously got this insecure urges with them is, I know this is going to sound atrocious, but I want to be authentic, it is because I do not feel as beautiful with it on as I do off. Moreover, truly, I know it is because my emaan is frail and I am working at it inshallah… I really am. Also because I know and am aware of societies harsh and their measures are insane. I will use myself as an example; I am a rather petite skinny girl I haven’t always been this skinny, but as I’ve gotten older I find myself struggling to keep on my weight. I do not have many curves to my body. My skin is not as clear as glass; I have a bit of hyperpigmentation on the sides of my face and bit on my chin. My hair is not too bad, to be honest… I like my hair, but it’s not long or anything amazing by any means either. I know I will most likely never have that curvaceous body everyone is dying for, I most likely will never get rid of my hyperpigmentation, even if I do it will only be reduced not entirely cleared up, my stomach will never be that crazy pinched, and my butt will never look like that. It’s just not possible. Alhamdulilah I’m not a very insecure person but I’ve realized my biggest downfall is I’m a people pleasure. I’ve always been that way, even from when I was extremely young. I want to please people. I am constantly trying to fit in, be liked and be accepted by others. And sometimes people’s opinions about me can sometimes formulate to opinions of my own self. I’ve gotten things like “your so skinny” and people dogging my weight several times in the past as if being skinny is something I should be ashamed of. Things like that just really add and contributes to my thinking of what is “beautiful.” That being skinny is out and being thick is in.
There are some nights where I do think, well what can I do to better myself? What can I do to look better? Should I maybe just start showing my hair? Why don’t I start buying all these clothing that are in? Why don’t I show a bit extra skin? Why don’t I do this, why don’t I do that? I just want to feel beautiful ya know? It is quite sad really, but being a young woman living in this day and age; you sometimes get these thoughts now and then. Moreover, sometimes more frequently than others. Again it’s because I am a woman. I just naturally want to feel beautiful. I want to look beautiful. I want to be appealing. However again, at what cost do I want it all? Do my moral and beliefs have to be sacrificed to please and live up to societies measurements? Will I throw that all away? I do not know.
TRIAL FOUR: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
I know several young women, and it kills me to believe that these little 14-17-year-old girls who are still in high school and do not know much about much are being exposed to such things and are told of these requirements at such an early stage. We have all been through that cohort. We were all very problematic, awkward, lost and wondrous. We were all molding, growing and evolving into our own. However, back then there were not things like Instagram taunting and teasing us. Social media was not this big frenzy as it is right now. Not saying it was easy to be back then but it was defiantly easier. I sometimes look at little girls online and think they are about what? Maybe 19-21 but then find out after scrolling and reading the comments that there either 15 or 16. Why is this a shock? Because they have on all this makeup nothing wrong with hat btw if your 15 or 16 and want to cake that up like crazy go ahead but doing all these crazy smokey eyes and have on all that exogenous makeup is fun and nice but at 15 though? Let your skin breathe a little girl. They have on this crazy push up bras that are making them looking like they are crazy massive, showing so much skin that you wouldn’t think they are not a day late of 22 because why would a 15 or 16-year-old girl need to be showing so much skin and exposing her body at such a young age? Lips overlined like crazy because they all they want is to look desperately like Kylie Jenner. It’s insane and very disheartening to see these little girls feeling like they need to go to such lengths all the please others and feel good in their skin. I remember when I was around that age and I remember the only major thing I was worrying about appearance wise was maybe my acne, to be honest. Isn’t that what you are supposed to be worrying about at 15? Why should a 15-year-old girl worry about her breast size, her hip size, and her butt size?! She is 15! She is still growing! It is crazy. These girls should not feel like they need to show extra cleavage to get that Friday night date. They do not need to stuff themselves and try on all these waist trainers that are doing God knows what to their organs just to achieve this “goal body.” I cannot imagine being 14 or 15 in 2016, its like everywhere you turn your being ambushed by media, peers, and society on what is acceptable and what is not. I feel for these girls, man.. I really do.
TRIAL FIVE: BABY GIRL
I feel for these girls that have to go through this all while trying to obey and oblige and are left with thinking that Islam is a burden getting away with meeting societies standards of “beauty” As if their hijab is standing in between what they want to feel and do. As if the hijab is a burden. Because baby girl, I will be the first to tell you that you do not need to show off your body to receive compliments from a guy to validate your worth. Your worth was never in their compliments baby girl. You do not need to expose your body on Instagram to get a few likes to prove your worth and beauty. Your beauty was never determined by a few likes baby girl. You do not need to throw away your blessing (hijab) to feel this sense of “beauty.” Beauty was always in that hijab your throwing away baby girl. Beauty comes and goes. Societies definition of beauty changes every three years. Remember when being skinny was seen as beauty three years ago? So much for that. However, one thing that has never changed is the beauty in the hijab… your beauty in your hijab. That is one thing that will never change. Because let’s face it baby girl styles can come and go. Ideal body types will come and go, but one thing that is consistent is your beauty in the hijab baby girl. Society can decide tomorrow that big butts with big lips are out, and skinny with thin lips are now in. What are you going to do then? Change with them like the seasons dressing?
TRIAL SIX: THE UNAVOIDABLE
Do not get me wrong now, I too sometimes feel like the hijab is a burden on me. I am sometimes torn between wanting to be this ideal “beauty” and obeying what is expected by my faith. Torn between wanting to feel secure in society and wanting to feel secure in my faith. Wanting to be the best Muslim that I can be and be accepted by others. Because deep down… I know the type of person I want to be Inshallah. I know who I want to please and obey at the end of the day. I know the steps I have to take to do 1 and 2. Just sometimes the step taking isn’t as easy as it may sound. I know that there will be trips and stumbles, but I think it’s like that in almost all aspects of life especially when you want to change or grow. There will be times where you’re at your peak, and no one can get to or touch you. But there also will be times where your down and feel like there is no way you are going to get up again. I guess that is unavoidable. I just need to realize that when I do get those temptations or urges I need to understand these are just a part of the step taking, the step taking toward where I want to be and that it. Fall 7 times, get up on 8. The only person is standing between you and where you need to be yourself at the end of the day. Social media, peer pressure, trends, societies expectations are all unavoidable. But all you have to do is avoid the inevitable. Block out the toxins, plug your ears, raise your chin and continue walking. You can’t control others. You cannot control what is “expected” by you by others. But you can control your listening and watch. If you see yourself looking and comparing yourself to other woman… block it out and exit the page. If you find yourself believing what other people is saying about you, your body and your apperance love yuorself girl. Once you do those words will just be a bunch of meaningless words that has taken up your precious time. If you find yourself thinking that you look better without your hijab based on instagram likes or social media recognition dont post any without your hijab. These are just some of the building blocks you could use and steps you can create to not only build yourself up but create a foundation for yourself. This is all going towards where you want to be and where you are headed. I know where I want to be… I know who I want to please. I just have to avoid the unavoidable.
THE FINALE: THE BLESSING
However, I know that even though I’m constantly stuck between two opposing and am constantly torn, I know that the hijab was never meant to be a burden… it is a blessing. It’s my protection from evil and evil-doers. I sometimes know I do not always see it as it, but it is. It is a blessing from Allah from him bestowed to me. When I look at myself in the hijab, it reminds me that I was chosen. That out of the billions of people in this world I was amongst those that were chosen. Chosen, by Allah SWT to serve his religion. Me. If that itself is not a blessing, then I do not know what is. When I wrap my hair every single morning with this cloth and mask my body I am representing my religion; I am representing Islam. When I wear this hijab, I am setting an example for those other girls that are either looking up or looking at me. When I wear this hijab, I am representing and sampling what Islam is. I know they are having been times where I just want to tear off my hijab and just go on this craze, where I want to start showing my hair and start dressing like everyone else and be seen as this “goal” or whatever you call it. Not because I want to fit in I guess but just to feel and look appealing to myself and others. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, and everyone would do anything and give up anything to feel that, but I don’t want to through away everything… because I have hope. Hope that with Allah’s blessing and my endless prayers, will make it not only easier for myself but all my sisters. My sisters that feel this burden, my sisters that feel like they are not up to par with what is expected of them, and my sisters that feel nothing less than beautiful with the hijab on. Because life is one thing, and that is uncertain. I don’t know when I will die. How I will die. Who I will end up marrying. Who will betray me? If I will be rich. If I will be dirt poor. If everything I have written and said today, tomorrow I am doing the exact opposite. I do not know. Life is uncertain. However, one thing that I know is certain is the hereafter. I want to work as hard as my crazy self can in this Dunya for the hereafter. Because me trying to chase something that was never meant to be pleased will only leave me tired and disappointed. I don’t want to look back on my life in my grave and think man… was that all worth it. Was the Dunya chasing worth it? Was everything I thought was important actually important? I want to be in my grave and be at least happy and content that I have done the best to my abilities. That I have at least attempted to change and tried to better myself for not only Allah’s sake but for my own as well. I’ve tried so hard to please others and do what everyone wants me to do if it goes against my faith just to “fit in.” But I realized at the end of the day when everyone has left you and turned their backs on you friends or family there is only Allah who is still standing with open arms to forgive you because he is the most merciful. So why should I not want to please him when he is all I have at the very end of the day. My friends can cut me off tomorrow morning… my family can decide to disown me tomorrow morning, but Allah will never turn his back. So again, why would I not want to please him and obey him to the fullest?
I love you all and I know there is at least one girl out there reading this that feels what I am going through, but that is okay. Allah put us through these hardships and trials because he knows we can get through it, and that we shall. Together inshallah. If there is ever a time you feel like you do not have anyone that can relate to what your going through or find someone that you can talk to, please do not hesitate for even a split second, message me on Tumblr or email me (all sources can be found in the contact section of my website) and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I am sorry that this was all over the place I just wanted to get this up before I go to bed because I have work in the morning. It’s been something that has been weighing really heavy on my chest, and I really wanted to get it out. Thank you again… love you all endlessly.