Travel blog

Scarfage, So Misunderstood: Women Who Wear Scarves

By on November 16, 2012

The hijab is an integral part of any Muslim culture, and from a Western viewpoint it can be easily- badly- judged. It’s something that I’m trying to educate myself on, as a Western woman.

I might consider myself slightly intelligent in some ways, but boy do I know nothing of Islam. And I’m not afraid to admit it freely.

So, for those of you like me: the hijab is the headscarf that most religious Muslim women wear. The parameters according to their beliefs are pretty clear: be modest, only revealing hands, feet or face.

The entire idea is that a woman’s beauty be protected from the outside world of prying eyes.

What I’ve found interesting is the generational and individual choices.

We saw a family of three: the mother was dressed in the Western style, as in no scarf; the grandmother was with a headscarf; the granddaughter was in full head-to-toe black loose robes.

An important thing to remember: the women choose which way that they present themselves. Yes, religion and culture play a part- but the argument for covering up is equally enticing: they don’t get judged on their looks, but their intelligence. Conversation. Wit.

I love that idea. Given the fact that Turkish women are generally stunning and smart, it seems logical.

I also love that some Muslim women choose to ‘de-jab,’ as in stop wearing the headscarf, when they want.

I’ve read that it’s usually accompanied with a huge life-change, but it could be for any reason.

The way I figure it is this: sometimes I’m in the mood for retro-vintage, sometimes my baggie jeans. Women here that choose to wear scarves choose them according to mood, too.

There’s no difference between Muslim and Western women in most ways- except those bad hair days, where their scarves let them off the beauty hook. Grin.

(‘Taking Off My Hijab’ is a great insight into the scarf-identity.)


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