Objectifying Hijab

Merve A. TOKYAY

We are aware of the circler movement of the world, at the same pace and the same path. Our perception on the other hand, is variable. World is spinning. Day by day new judgments, rules or ruling by narratives and trend are changing.

How do you define fashion? As a necessity of change or desire of beautification, that temporary novelty has become part of the society? Social affirmation that is constant for a while and manifest itself in over- fondness to anything, something? Anything that is suitable for social approval and renovation, but only just for a while?

Great Turkish thinker and novelist Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar underlines that fashion emerges from structure of life itself.

As the world spins, life changes and dependently, does our necessities. Movement of change captures our priorities.

And beyond accepting as fact, we all act upon the “fashion”. I am not just talking about girding ourselves up. The places we go, food we buy, vocabulary we use, managing styles, contradictions, the names we give to our children, movies we watch, what we protest…

The key question here, what sells the most? What is the price tag?

Selling doesn’t necessarily refers to buying exchange of money, what mean is buying an attitude, fitting in it, excepting it as a familiar custom and eventually being constrained by that “thing”.

Nowadays high bidder of fashion realm is activism. Despite in the past printed t-shirts, runway playlists, the choice of venue for fashion parades and using feminist colors were enough activist and rebel actions for fashion community, what changed the wind over hijab and modest Muslim women?

It is hard to claim that presidential election that held last months in USA could be interpreted as a threshold, hard to claim already, however the Presedent’s anti-Muslim opinions, discourse and evenly the bills he operated about abolishing Muslims made us at the center of activist and democrat limelight.

A banner held attention a January 21st Women’s March, a woman wearing headscarf out of American flag.

This year, New York Fashion Week was remarked more than ever with Anniesa Hasibuan modest fashion parade. And something unbelievable happened at Milan Fashion Week, Halima Aden, who has just registered IMG model agency walked on western prominent fashion brands runway, with her hijab!

Gucci, Delpozo, Burberry had headcsrafed models for runway, okay not fully but still, there were literarily hijabi models on fashion “show”.  And again, Nike designed a hijab for Muslim athletes. Gigi Hadid wore a hijab for the cover of Vogue Arabia. Modest bloggers put in appearance in magazine pages thanks to famous street photographers frame.

Rafinery 29 wheeled to hijabi bloggers. Or, forced to show something now, that it had been seeing for a while.

Have I managed to find key word?

Seeing or being obligated to “show”

Nowadays, the fashionly way of proofing being open-minded, anti-racist, pro-equality, or non-Islamaphobic is accepting and not ignoring the existence of hijabi women, realizing they have rights, they live in the community among other people; embracing all these as a fact.

Would it surprise you if Yuna gets next Emmy? Or Ibtijah Muhammed casts as sports commentator in CNN? Wouldn’t it be legendary if a Hollywood actress converts to Islam and wears hijab? I vote for Angelina Jolie. I don’t know what comes next but now Western civilization is enjoying Hijab.

Briefly, we are on the front burner, again. Have we ever off?

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