A version of this was originally posted on my fashion Tumblr, where you can see how much I care (obsess?) over my presentation.
There are many types of headscarves that Muslim women wear; this guide is hardly exhaustive, but it covers the types I used to wear.
I started my scarf-wearing career at the age of 8 with the Al-Amira style. Two years later, when I started took up full-time hijab, I wore unpatterned triangle-shaped or patterned folded-square headscarves. I hated the lace trim that almost inevitably adorned the triangles, but they were opaque, single-layer, and made of breathable cotton. They also didn’t require much in the way of accouterments: just a pin under the chin and maybe one for decoration and/or to pin one of the hanging ends up to my shoulder. If some of my unruly, poufy hair decided to peek out from the front of my scarf, I could tuck it back in without having to completely rearrange the scarf. The practicality suited me.
Just because we covered up didn’t mean that there weren’t trends that made their way to us. When the shayla came around, I resisted it rather stubbornly. I couldn’t understand why I was being pressured to try a “prettier” style since, to me, the point of wearing hijab was not having to fuss about my appearance or follow a trend. Eventually, in one of the few incidents of my life where I succumbed to peer pressure, I caved in.
The wrapped shayla style is far more of a hassle than the plain triangle or square. It requires, at the very minimum, both a safety pin or brooch under the chin and a long hatpin at the top of the head. Wearing a shayla also means having to wear cap or headband for at least one of three reasons.
- The sheerness of the shayla necessitates extra coverage.
- The silkiness of the shayla means that stray hairs cannot not simply be tucked back into the scarf (and even with the cap, there’s minimal margin for error without having to re-wrap).
- The slipperiness of the shayla requires something underneath to keep it in place.
For me, the best part of coming out as having left Islam, was, at first, letting those treacherously slippery fabrics unwind themselves from my head and slide their way to the floor and away from me forever.
Are there any fashion trends to which you succumbed due to peer pressure? Or any that you just hate?